Fall under the spell of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece of lost love in Opera Australia’s new production of Eugene Onegin. A young girl’s first love goes unrequited, charting a course from hope to regret with tragic consequences along the way.
Directed by Danish opera wunderkind Kasper Holten, Artistic Director of Royal Opera House, the production boasts a stunning cast, with Australian soprano Nicole Car, who is poised for an international career; Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Emile De Beque in South Pacific; and Australian New York-based bass baritone Daniel Sumegi most recently seen in The Melbourne Ring.
Keeping the music at its luscious best is Maestro Guillaume Tourniaire, Regarded as Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, Eugene Onegin has one of the most beautiful scores in opera, lauded for its clarity and poignancy.
Based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel of the same name, and set in St Petersburg in the early 19th century, Eugene Onegin is an exploration of what might have been. When the protagonist Onegin thoughtlessly rejects a young admirer, he is unaware the decision will determine his life’s course. The fallout affects those around him, leading to an unnecessary and fateful duel with his closest friend.
Eugene Onegin is Kasper Holten’s first work in his capacity as Artistic Director of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Mr Holten was entranced by the characters in the opera, making a commitment to telling their story on a very human scale, without pomp or grandeur. Each character reflects on times past, through a clever device of dancers doubling as the character’s younger selves. This adds a layered and ethereal dimension to the story.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s body of work included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets and chamber music. He was the first Russian composer to garner international attention for his work, which he bolstered with his appearances as a conductor.
Premiering in 1879 at Moscow’s Maly Theatre, Eugene Onegin is one of Tchaikovsky’s earlier operas, composed during his late 30s. Rightly assuming Russian audiences would know Pushkin’s novel, Tchaikovsky abandoned a straightforward timeline narrative in favour of a more nuanced, episodic style.
This presentation of Eugene Onegin is a co-production with Opera Australia, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London and Fondazione Teatro Regio, Turin.
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 16 April – 9 May 2014
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.
Image: Nicole Car as Tatyana – by Lisa Tomasetti