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Eugen Onegin

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Run time: 3hrs 00min, 1 intermission


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When young, innocent Tatiana (Tamuna Gochashvili) meets the worldly aristocrat Eugene Onegin (Andrè Schuen), and falls in love almost immediately. In one of Russian opera’s most memorable scenes, she pours out her heart in a passionate letter to Onegin—only to be coldly rejected. When the two meet again years later, Tatiana has become the elegant wife of the aging Prince Gremin (Dimitry Ivashchenko), and it is Onegin’s turn to beg for her love. Bogdan Volkov is Onegin’s unlucky friend, Lenski.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) is widely considered the most popular Russian composer in history. His work includes symphonic music, ballets, operas, concertos and chamber music. Tchaikovsky was one of the first students at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he received formal Western-oriented training. His compositional style incorporated developments of the Western European musical tradition while remaining integrally Russian.

Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837) occupies a place in Russian literature can only be compared to Shakespeare’s in the English canon. His famous novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was adapted into an operatic libretto by Tchaikovsky, with help from a friend, the poet Konstantin Shilovsky. Some portions of the opera follow very closely Pushkin’s text, retaining much of his poetry.