Culture Magazine

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Eugene Onegin

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
La Netrebko returns opposite two substitute baritones in Tchaikovsky's drama.
by Paul J. Pelkonen

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Eugene Onegin

Anna Netrebko in the Act I "letter scene" from Eugene Onegin.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2014 The Metropolitan Opera.

Anna Netrebko returns to the role of Tatiana in the production she created in 2013. Her Onegin(s) will be Mariusz Kwiecien and Peter Mattei. They are substituting for Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who has declared himself unable to perform due to cancer treatments.
What is Eugene Onegin?
This is an intimate chamber drama, set among the moneyed Russian aristocracy as they deal with conventional problems between men and women. Tchaikovsky was half joking when he suggested Pushkin's drama as an operatic subject. He failed to anticipate that this would be among his most loved and longest running stage works.
What's Eugene Onegin about?
Although Eugene Onegin is the title character, this opera is really the story of Tatiana. She starts the opera as a young, innocent, passionate girl and journeys to womanhood through her on-again off-again relationship with the handsome but callow Onegin. He then kills his friend and rival Lensky in a duel, and is exiled. By the time he returns and realizes he's really in love with her, it's too late--Tatiana has married for money.
What's the music like?
In addition to orchestral showpieces like the famous Polonaise, the score continues Tchaikovsky's approach of fusing Western musical structures to traditional Russian choral music, creating music of tremendous vitality and beauty. The composer provides some of his most sensitive music to accompany the love triangle between Onegin, Lensky and Tatiana, and she is one of the most memorable heroines in Russian opera.
Who's in it?
We already mentioned the utterly fabulous and fearless Anna Netrebko, the biggest soprano in opera. Here, the dark-eyed diva stars as Tatiana, who  must choose between the safety of a bourgeois marriage and a whirlwind romance with the title character, played (on different nights) by the aforementioned baritones. Alexey Dolgov is the hapless Lensky. Robin Ticciati conducts.
How's the production?
This new production (seen originally at the English National Opera at the Coliseum in London) is by director Deborah Warner. This is a conservative staging, with period details and costumes that look drawn from a catalog. (Writing for the Daily Telegraph, British critic Rupert Christiansen commented that it may be safely recommended to the "primmest maiden aunt with the most conservative tastes.")
Why should I see it?
The explosive pairing of Ms. Netrebko and Mr. Hvorostovsky made this one of the hottest tickets of the Spring season.  Although he has withdrawn, his replacements are the singers who created these parts when the production originally took the stage in 2013-14. Onegin is also a damn good Russian opera and one of Tchaikovsky's most splendid musical creations.
When does it open?
Eugene Onegin makes its return on March 30, 2017. A Live in HD broadcast is scheduled for April 22, 2017.
Where can I get tickets?
Tickets  are available through MetOpera.Org or by calling the box office at (212) 362-6000. You can save service fees by going to the box office in person at the Met itself, located at 30 Lincoln Center Plaza. Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10am-8pm, Sunday: 12pm-6pm.
Which recording should I get?
Dresden Staatskapelle cond. James Levine (Deutsche Grammophon, 1989)
This is not exactly an idiomatic cast for Onegin, but this Dresden recording does have the luxuries of a superb orchestra conducted by an in-his-prime James Levine. Mirella Freni is getting to the end of her career here, but she remains a passionate Tatiana. Tenor Neil Shicoff, whose characterful singing marked a stellar career, is Lensky. The veteran baritone Thomas Allen sings Onegin with a welcome world-weariness suited to this character.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Refreshing Flower Vases

    Refreshing Flower Vases

    The sun is bright. Fresh produce is in abundance. Vivid flowers are dancing in wind. I can’t help sharing refreshing flower vases that are exotic and quite... Read more

    13 hours, 4 minutes ago by   Vsudarsan
  • Concert Review: They See Perpetual Change

    Concert Review: They Perpetual Change

    Yes celebrate fifty years of music on Staten Island. by Paul J. Pelkonen The men of Yes (Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, John Davison, Jay Schellen, Alan White... Read more

    13 hours, 28 minutes ago by   Superconductor
  • 5 Pieces of Essential Event Advice

    Pieces Essential Event Advice

    Each year, event and meeting professionals gather at conferences where speakers discuss trends, education and ideas for inspired event management. Attendees at ... Read more

    14 hours, 44 minutes ago by   Marketingtango
  • Paula Abdul – Tour Celebrating 30 Years As A Pop And Dance Icon

    Paula Abdul Tour Celebrating Years Dance Icon

    Grammy Award-winning pop legend and dance superstar Paula Abdul has announced a new North American tour this fall – STRAIGHT UP PAULA! – her first solo outing i... Read more

    14 hours, 48 minutes ago by   A Beauty Feature
  • Food Review: Julie’s Kopitiam, Shawlands, Glasgow

    Food Review: Julie’s Kopitiam, Shawlands, Glasgow

    53 total views, 53 views today Julie’s Kopitiam – finally! Eventually, we (or Mrs Foodie did at least!) make it to Julie’s Kopitiam. Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Emma
  • Sedo Weekly Sales Led by

    Sedo released their weekly sales and led the way at $55,000. was the second highest sale at 35,000 GBP ($45,906). 46 .com sales 24 cctl... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Worldwide
  • River Town Saints at the 2018 Calgary Stampede – Nashville North

    River Town Saints 2018 Calgary Stampede Nashville North

    Ottawa, ON's River Town Saints made their way to Calgary to play at Nashville North during the 2018 Stampede, and the five boys from Ontario went all in! One... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Phjoshua