Petr Iljič Čajkovskij
Staged in the Russian original with Czech, English and German subtitles.
Eugene Onegin, a young dandy from St. Petersburg, bored by the social life in that city, flees to the countryside where he meets the young, naïve Tatyana. He coldly rejects Tatyana´s love, but several years later he comes to understand what a mistake he has made, and that it can no longer be corrected. The verse novel by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, published in 1823-1831, became very popular in Russian society. It is no wonder that Tchaikovsky reached for it when he was searching for a theme for his fourth opera, or that he and the librettist Shilovsky kept an extensive part of Pushkin´s original text for the libretto. The composer subtitled the work a lyrical scene in three acts and, truly, Eugene Onegin is a remarkable combination of very intimate, chamber-style scenes with a theme that is most untypical and simple for a 19th century opera, a fact which lies in contrast with its romantic orchestration and choral scenes. It must be said that Tchaikovsky´s music strengthened the trueness and depth of Pushkin´s story, and particularly the moments when the main characters confess their love – whether it be Tatyana’s famous letter scene, Lensky´s farewell to life or Prince Gremin´s aria – rightfully rank amongst the most famous scenes in the opera repertoire. After a very successful production of The Queen of Spades, Eugene Onegin sees the return of director Martin Glaser to the works of P. I. Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest personalities of Russian romanticism.