Opera by Pjotr Tschaikowski (1840-1893)
Libretto by Konstantin Shilovsky and Piotr Tchaikovsky
After the eponymous verse novel by Alexander Pushkin
In Russian with German and English surtitles. Duration 2 H. 55 Min. incl. interval after 2nd act after approx. 1 H. 55 Min. Introduction 45 min before the performance.
Coproduction with Komische Oper Berlin.
Introductory matinee on 10 Sep 2017.
“I do not need any tsars, popular uprisings, battles or marches… I am looking for an intimate but powerful drama that is based on conflicts that I have experienced myself and that can move me to the core.” Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin touched/moved the composer like no other subject matter. Disregarding all the warnings of his friends, who maintained that the story was not sufficiently dramatic, Tchaikovsky composed this intimate opera, which he termed “lyrical scenes.” Soon after the Moscow première, Eugene Onegin became Tchaikovsky’s hitherto greatest success. Its open structure, which centres on the emotional life of the young protagonists, points far into the future of musical theatre.
Tatiana, who lives only in the romantic plots of the novels she reads, falls in love at first sight with Onegin, a spoilt, condescending intellectual. The same night, she writes Onegin a rapturous letter in which she declares her love for him and places her destiny in his hands. Onegin coldly rejects her – he is not made for marriage. When Onegin flirts with Tatiana’s sister Olga at a ball, his friend Lensky, who is in love with Olga, challenges him to a duel. Onegin shoots Lensky. Years later, Tatiana and Onegin meet again. Tatiana is now the wife of the rich Prince Gremin. Onegin’s effusive declaration of love comes too late.
This production features two wonderful singers in classic roles – Peter Mattei as Onegin and Pavol Breslik as Lensky – for which they have garnered worldwide acclaim. The promising Ukrainian soprano Olga Bezsmertna will sing the role of Tatiana. Barrie Kosky, who was voted Director of the Year for his production of Macbeth at Zurich Opera House, will be setting the scene for Tchaikovsky’s tragic story of missed opportunities.