Eugene Onegin - Michigan Opera Theatre

Overview

New Production! Eugene Onegin is a story of squandered romance and tragic honor. Known for its rich orchestration and beautiful melodies, “Onegin” is Tchaikovsky’s most beloved opera and the epitome of Russian Lyric Opera.

Fast Facts

Eugene Onegin (Yevgény Onégin)
Opera in three acts
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Libretto by the composer and Konstantin Shilovsky, based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse.
Premiere: Moscow, 1879

This production
Conducted by Stephen Lord;
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Sets and costumes by Erhard Rom
A co-production with Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Sung in Russian with English supertitle translations
Running time: About 2 1/2 hours
Location: Detroit Opera House

Artists

Corinne Winters

Tatyana

Iurii Samoilov

Eugene (Yevgeny) Onegin

Jamez McCorkle

Vladimir Lensky

Carolyn Sproule

Olga

Steven Humes

Prince Gremin

Katharine Goeldner

Madame Larina

Meredith Arwady

Filippyevna

Matthew DiBattista

Monsieur Triquet

Allen Michael Jones
SA

Zaretsky

Harry Greenleaf
SA

A captain

Michael Day
SA

A peasant

Stephen Lord

Conductor

Stephanie Havey

Director

Tomer Zvulun

Original Production

Synopsis

ACT I
Russia, 19th century. Autumn in the country. On the Larin estate. Madame Larina reflects upon the days before she married, when she was courted by her husband but loved another. She is now a widow with two daughters: Tatyana and Olga. While Tatyana spends her time reading novels, with whose heroines she closely identifies, Olga is being courted by their neighbor, the poet Lenski. He arrives unexpectedly, bringing with him a new visitor, Eugene Onegin, with whom Tatyana falls in love.

Tatyana asks her nurse Filippyevna to tell her of her first love and marriage. Tatyana stays up all night writing a passionate letter to Onegin and persuades Filippyevna to have her grandson deliver it in the morning.

Tatyana waits for Onegin’s response in the garden. He admits that he was touched by her declaration but explains that he cannot accept it and can only offer her friendship. He advises her to control her emotions, lest another man take advantage of her innocence.

ACT II
January. The local community has been invited to the Larin estate to celebrate Tatyana’s name day. Onegin has reluctantly agreed to accompany Lenski to what he mistakenly believes will be an intimate family celebration. Annoyed to find himself trapped at an enormous party and bored by the occasion, Onegin takes his revenge on Lenski by flirting and dancing with Olga. Lenski’s jealousy is aroused to such a height that he challenges Onegin to a duel. The party breaks up.

Before the duel, Lenski meditates upon his poetry, upon his love for Olga, and upon death. Lenski’s second finds Onegin’s late arrival and his choice of a second insulting. Although both Lenski and Onegin are full of remorse, neither stops the duel. Lenski is killed.

ACT III
St. Petersburg. Having traveled abroad for several years since the duel, Onegin has returned to the capital. At a ball, Prince Gremin introduces his young wife. Onegin is astonished to recognize her as Tatyana and to realize that he is in love with her.

Onegin has sent a letter to Tatyana. He arrives at the Gremin palace and begs her to run away with him. Tatyana admits that she still loves him, but that she has made her decision and will not leave her husband. Onegin is left desperate. —Courtesy of English National Opera

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Fast Facts

Eugene Onegin (Yevgény Onégin)
Opera in three acts
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Libretto by the composer and Konstantin Shilovsky, based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse.
Premiere: Moscow, 1879

This production
Conducted by Stephen Lord;
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Sets and costumes by Erhard Rom
A co-production with Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Sung in Russian with English supertitle translations
Running time: About 2 1/2 hours
Location: Detroit Opera House

Sponsors

Additional Resources

View Playbill

View Classroom Guide