We’re really excited to be putting in place the final elements of our Spring tour of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – opening in Hafren, Newtown on February 24th 2018.
For those who don’t know the piece, we wanted to introduce you to one of the story’s central characters. At the heart of Tchaikovsky’s opera, and the Pushkin verse novel on which it is based, is the story of Tatyana. When we meet her in Act One, Tatyana is a simple country girl, living at home with her mother, sister and nurse.
When her sister’s fiancé Lensky arrives from St Petersburg with his friend Eugene Onegin , Tatyana’s life is thrown into chaos. She writes him a long and deeply moving letter declaring her love – the letter scene, sung here in Russian by Anna Netrebko is one of the great soprano tours de force in opera – filled with the drama and pathos of a young girl’s passion and dreams.
The role of Tatyana in our touring production will be played by British Soprano Elizabeth Karani who studied at both the National Opera Studio and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama opera school under the tutelage of Susan McCulloch. She previously trained at the Royal Northern College of Music under Susan Roper.
Elizabeth told us:
“I think what excites me about Tatyana is that she’s an ordinary girl and though she is a dreamer, by rights she should lead a very ordinary life. However, the things that happen to her and the journey she goes on allow her to explore and express huge depths of emotion.
She, and all the other characters in Eugene Onegin, are extremely relatable to an audience member and this, combined with amazing music, makes for an extremely enjoyable and heart-wrenching evening.”
As those who saw The Bear will know from the second half of our performance, Tatyana’s love letter is rejected by Onegin, who feels he is not a man cut out for marriage. At a party for Tatyana’s birthday, he becomes annoyed with neighbours gossiping about their relationship and deliberately flirts and dances with her sister Olga, who is engaged to his friend Lensky. In a jealous rage Lensky and Onegin argue – and agree to a duel.
By the next morning Lensky, filled with regret, laments his decision and declares his love for Olga and his fear of death in his poignant aria, but neither man will back down, and Onegin shoots his friend dead.
Five years pass, and we meet Tatyana again in St Petersburg, now a great aristocratic beauty and married to the Prince Gremin. Onegin arrives at a ball at their glamorous city house and is instantly struck by this woman – the same Tatyana he rejected all those years ago. Though seeing Onegin again stirs up her old feelings of love and longing, Tatyana is determined to remain faithful to the man she married but does not love.
As always, our performances will be sung in English and the orchestra for this tour is the wonderful Ensemble Cymru, joining us for the first time.
The production will be led by MWO’s Artistic Director Richard Studer and Music Director Jonathan Lyness. Their most recent production of Eugene Onegin, in Bristol, in 2012 was exceptionally well received and the Guardian’s reviewer wrote:
“I left the theatre reeling from the experience. It was all realised with the highest musical values, a remarkably strong cast and vividly portrayed under Richard Studer’s direction.”
Tickets are already on sale – dates and details are below.
Saturday 24th February Hafren, Newtown
Wednesday 28th February Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Thursday 8th March Pontio, Bangor
Friday 16th March The Riverfront, Newport
Sunday 18th March Theatr Clwyd, Mold
Wednesday 21st March Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
Thursday 29th March Ffwrnes, Llanelli
Wednesday 4th April The Torch, Milford Haven
Tuesday 10th April The Courtyard, Hereford