Opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Libretto by Konstantin Schilowski and Pyotr Tchaikovsky
After the eponymous verse novel by Alexander Pushkin
In Russian with German and English surtitles. Duration 3 H. incl. intermission after 2nd act after approx. 1 H. 50 Min. Introduction 45 min before the performance.
A co-production with Komische Oper Berlin.
A summer idyll in the Russian provinces. People are doing what people do on such days: in the middle of a jaunt with country people, the widowed landowner Larina is chatting with her faithful servant Filipievna, the nanny of her daughters Olga and Tatyana. The two old women are bottling marmalade and reminiscing about their past hopes of love – and becoming accustomed to disappointment. Larina’s daughters sing a song. While the vivacious Olga dances, her introverted sister Tatyana prefers to bury herself in her books. The young poet Vladimir Lensky, Olga’s fiancé, appears – and makes amorous declarations to his beloved, as he always does. Lensky is accompanied by an unknown man, whom he introduces as his friend and neighbour: Eugene Onegin. Tatyana falls in love with Onegin at first sight.
By nightfall, Tatyana is completely smitten. She confesses to her nanny that she is in love, and writes Onegin an ardent love letter. The next day, however, Onegin coolly rejects Tatyana’s declaration.
Amid drinking and dancing, the Larin family is exuberantly celebrating Tatyana’s name day, and much to everyone’s delight the Frenchman Triquet dedicates a couplet to Tatyana. Only Eugene Onegin is unable to muster any enthusiasm for the festivities. He flirts with Olga, Lensky’s fiancée. When the jealous Lensky confronts Onegin, the quarrel escalates. Lensky challenges Onegin to a duel, which ends in disaster: Onegin kills his friend.
After years of aimless travels, Eugene Onegin arrives at Prince Gremin’s house in St Petersburg to attend a ball. Gremin has been married for two years – to Tatyana. Onegin now suddenly discovers his love for her. He implores Tatyana to leave her husband and run away with him. The pair tearfully reminisce about that summer in the country. Tatyana, whom Onegin once rejected, in turn now rejects Onegin. It is too late. Irrevocably. She is married, and Onegin’s destiny is no longer linked to her own…