The fun-loving Olga dances, while her introverted sister Tatyana prefers to bury herself in novels. Olga’s fiancé, the young poet Lensky, arrives and effusively professes his love for her. Lensky has brought a man he introduces as his friend and neighbour: Eugene Onegin.
Come evening, Tatyana is head over heels. She confesses to her nurse Filipyevna she is in love and writes a fervent love letter that night to Onegin. Next day, Onegin coolly rejects the feelings Tatyana revealed to him.
The Larin family hosts a party on Tatyana’s name day; the guests drink and dance and the Frenchman Triquet recites a couplet for Tatyana to everyone’s delight. Onegin alone is not the least amused and flirts with Olga to Lensky’s great annoyance. The two men argue, scandalizing the guests, and Lensky challenges Onegin to a duel. This ends in catastrophe: Onegin kills his friend.
After years of aimless travelling, Eugene Onegin arrives in Saint Petersburg and attends a ball in the house of Prince Gremin. The latter has recently got married to Tatyana. Alone and confused, Onegin is smitten with Tatyana and begs her to run off with him. Both tearfully remember that summer in the country. Tatyana, herself once rejected, turns Onegin down: it’s too late and can’t be altered. She is married now and her fate is no longer bound up with Onegin’s …