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Eugene Onegin - From The Royal Opera House
180 Minutes with one intermission
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Conductor: Robin Ticciati; Director: Kasper Holten
Tatyana: Krassimira Stoyanova; Eugene Onegin: Simon Keenlyside
Single Seats $15.00
Groups of 10 or more $12.50
Scene 1: The garden of the Larin country estate
Madame Larina and nurse Filippyevna are sitting outside in the garden when they hear Madame Larina's two daughters, Tatyana and her younger sister Olga, singing a love song. Madame Larina is reminded of her own story of marraige. Tatyana and Olga watch as a group of peasants celebrate the harvest with songs and dances. Tatyana, shy and introverted, is absorbed in reading a romantic novel, while her carefree sister Olga joins in on the celebrations. Olga's fiancé Lensky, a young poet, and his friend, a dandy visiting from St. Petersburg, Eugene Onegin, enter and Lensky introduces Onegin to the Larin family. Tatyana is immediately and strongly attracted to Onegin. He tells Tatyana of his boredom in the country and his recent inheritance of his uncle’s estate, and asks if she ever tires of her bucolic life.
Scene 2: Tatyana's room
Tatyana, restless and unable to sleep, begs her nurse Filippyevna to tell her about her youth and early marriage. Tatyana confesses that she is in love. Left alone, Tatyana stays up the entire night pouring out her heart and true feelings in a letter to Onegin. With fear and shame, she tells him that she is desperately in love with him and pleads for his understanding. When day breaks, Tatyana begs Filippyevna to deliver the letter to Onegin.
As servant girls pick fruit and sing while they work, Tatyana waits anxiously for Onegin's arrival and his reaction to the letter. Onegin enters to see her and he explains, without emotion, that is unsuited to marriage and would tire quickly of it. He can only offer her brotherly affection and warns Tatyana to be less emotionally open in future, advising that another man might fail to respect her innocence. Tatyana is crushed and unable to reply.
Scene 1: The ballroom of the Larin house
A party is being given in honor of Tatyana for her birthday. As young couples rejoice in the festivities and waltz across the floor, older guests sit watching and gossiping. Onegin is dancing with Tatyana but quickly grows bored and irritated with the gossiping provincial guests, and with Lensky for persuading him to come in the first place. He decides to make the party more interesting by dancing and flirting with the always outgoing Olga, who gladly responds. Lensky is astounded and becomes extremely jealous. He confronts Olga but she cannot see that she has done anything wrong and tells Lensky not to be ridiculous. Onegin asks Olga to dance with him again and she agrees, as "punishment" for Lensky's jealousy, at which point the quarrel between the two men becomes more intense. Lensky renounces his friendship with Onegin in front of all the guests, and challenges him to a duel, which Onegin must accept.
On the banks of a stream, early morning
Lensky and his second, Zaretsky await Onegin. While Lensky reflects on his life, his fear of death and his love for Olga, Onegin arrives with his manservant Guillot. Both Lensky and Onegin are reluctant to go ahead with the duel, reflecting on the senselessness of their rashness. But pride and impulse prevail and Lensky is fatally killed. Act III Several years have passed, a magnificent ball is being held at a grandiose palace in St. Petersburg. In this time, Onegin has traveled extensively all over the world in hopes to lift his boredom and give meaning to his life. He is bitter that his unsuccessful search has led him to yet another monotonous social gathering. Suddenly, he recognizes Tatyana across the room, but she has changed entirely. She is no longer the shy girl he once knew, but rather a sumptuously and elegantly dressed aristocratic beauty, walking with poise and dignity. Onegin quickly learns that Tatyana is Prince Gremin’s wife. Tatyana, in turn, is overwhelmed with emotion when she recognizes Onegin. Gremin tells Onegin about his great happiness and love for Tatyana, and re-introduces Onegin to his wife. Onegin realizes that he is in love with Tatyana and determines to write to her.
In the palace, Tatyana has received Onegin's passionate letter, which has reminded her of the passion and ultimate heartbreak she suffered for him as a young girl. Onegin enters and falls at her feet. But Tatyana remains controlled. She asks why Onegin is pursuing her now. Is it because of her social position? Onegin denies any ulterior motivation and his pleas grow ardent. Tatyana, moved to tears, reflects how near they once could have lived in happiness and united, but determines that he could only bring her grief. Although she still loves Onegin, Tatyana asserts that their union can never be realized, as she is now married, and determined to remain faithful to her husband despite her true feelings. Finding true strength, Tatyana bids him farewell forever, leaving him alone and in despair.
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