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With overwhelming natural images and a love for the finest details, Barrie Kosky stages Tchaikovsky’s melancholic psychological drama about the hopes, desires and failures of four young people who realize in the end: happiness was just within reach! »A poetical realism that has become quite rare, with a nearly cinematic directness.« [concerti.de]
Via his friend Lensky, Eugene Onegin gets to know two sisters at a country estate: the cheerful Olga and the timid Tatyana, who falls in love with him upon first sight. When she confesses her love to him a in a long letter, however, Onegin rejects her and overtly flirts with her sister. Lensky, outraged by Onegin's behaviour, challenges his friend to a duel, which ends in Lensky's death. Years later, following an unsettled life, Onegin encounters Tatyana, whose powerful aura now utterly captivates him. But Tatyana is now married. Happily, as she claims ...
It was not the stuff of grand opera, but the emotions of real people, »a conflict which truly touches me«, which inspired Tchaikovsky when he achieved the first great success of his operatic career with Eugene Onegin. Poetic richness was more important to the composer than a fast-paced dramatic plot. Warm, heart-felt melodies, choruses in the Russian folk tradition and a richly instrumented orchestral sound spirit audiences away into the inner worlds of the protagonists, who – as so often with Tchaikovsky – cannot escape their destiny.
Libretto by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky and Konstantin Shilovsky
Based on the novel of the same name by Alexander S. Pushkin