Opera

Eugene Onegin

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
Sung in Russian, with German surtitles
Opera ("lyrical scenes") in three acts | Libretto: by the composer and Konstantin Shilovsky, based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin
First performance: 1879 in Moscow

Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster

“Yes, I am aware that this opera has no future”, Tchaikovsky wrote in a letter about his “Eugene Onegin”. Indeed, the opera contains relatively little stage action and effects, and although these are more than adequately offset against a wealth of poetry, realism and Pushkin’s genial verse, the composer believed that “the opera would never succeed”. How wrong he was! The opera remains popular today for its fascinating and unique sphere of expression, occupying a worthy place somewhere between Verdi and Wagner in terms of its dramatic and epic qualities.

In a bid to escape the banality and tedium of his environment, Onegin barricades himself behind irony and cynicism, an act which ultimately turns him into his own prisoner and blinds his sense of humanity. In the process, his reckless behaviour not only destroys all potential of a future with the love of his life, it also leads to the tragic loss of his best friend. In a painful development, he is reacquainted with Tatyana, who has since found her place at the centre of prominent high society, a world from which she once sought to escape. A far cry from the once witty, desirable socialite, the unhappy conclusion leaves a desperate, aimless and homeless Onegin in its wake.

Tchaikovsky shaped the roles and scenes with sensitive attention to the attributes and requirements of song. The centrepiece is Tatyana’s famous letter scene, an intense psychological narrative in which violent emotional turmoil meets simple human expression. Precisely because of this, the image of spurned lovers still retains its dimension of pained beauty and inherent dignity today.

Cast

Conductor Daniela Musca
Director Vasily Barkhatov
Stage Designer Zinovy Margolin
Costume Designer Olga Shaishmelashvili
Lighting Designer Andreas Frank
Chorus Master Albert Horne
Dramaturgy Regine Palmai
Eugene Onegin Christopher Bolduc
Tatyana Asmik Grigorian
Olga Silvia Hauer
Lensky Thomas Blondelle
Prince Gremin Wolf Matthias Friedrich
Larina Romina Boscolo
Triquet Erik Biegel, Tobias Hunger
Filippyevna Anna Maria Dur
Zaretsky Christian Balzer
Saretzki Leonid Firstov
Chor & Statisterie des Hessischen Staatstheaters Wiesbaden, Hessisches Staatsorchester Wiesbaden