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Subject: Re: "Eugene Onegin" question
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 14 Jan 2018 14:30:00 +0200
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I think Onegin is an extremely hard part to act. I think he has an attractive surface but is fundamentally lacking any real core to his being. A living “no there there.” 

I think he and Tatyana create colliding illusions. The Onegin she creates in her fantasy is a much greater and more noble creature than he could ever be. His fantasy is of a being an ageless playboy leading full life free of annoying attachments. 

I think what drives him in his last desperate lunge toward Tatyana is a sense that in his whole life he has failed to connect to anything or anybody. He looks on her as a last chance.

If she agreed to it, nothing good could come. He can’t love and any chance he had of actually becoming a person died with Lensky.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 13, 2018, at 20:43, robert levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> To Nina, Dennis, et al,
> 
> Onegin is an ideal portrait of a narcissist, and they don't learn. "What
> have i done to you?" or "How happy we could have been!" might have implied
> learning and growth, but Onegin is incapable of seeing past his nose; the
> only reason he looks into people's eyes is to see his own reflection.
> One of the reasons I don't like the opera is because of my dislike for the
> title character! It should have been called "Tatyana."
> Bob L
> 
> On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 1:25 PM, Nina Gettler <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>> The only thing Onegin learns too late is that he wants Tatiana now that he
>> can't have her.
>> Pushkin's narrator says that Onegin didn't want the young, shy girl who
>> was in love, poor, and artless. He wanted the princess, the goddess, who
>> was forbidden fruit.
>> 
>> His last words in the opera show that he's still just thinking of himself
>> [Shame. Sadness. Oh, my wretched fate]
>> 
>> In refusing him, Tatiana doesn't just listen to her head instead of her
>> heart, she listens to her conscience, her moral compass. She admits to
>> Onegin that she still loves him, but she says that she will remain faithful
>> to her husband [but//I have been given to another and I will ever be
>> faithful to him].
>> 
>> The ending in the verse novel is a little different in that after Tatiana
>> and Onegin's conversation, she leaves and shortly afterward, Gremin enters.
>> But no words are exchanged between him and Onegin. The narrator says "in
>> this moment of our hero's misfortune, we leave him, dear Reader" [roughly
>> translated]
>> 
>> This would not have been very effective on the stage, so I imagine that's
>> why Tchaikovsky gave Onegin the last word.
>> 
>> Nina Gettler
>> Graz, Austria
>> 
>> 
>>> On 1/13/2018 1:40 AM, OPERA-L automatic digest system wrote:
>>> 
>>> Date:    Fri, 12 Jan 2018 19:04:27 -0500
>>> From:    Dennis Ryan<[log in to unmask]>
>>> Subject: "Eugene Onegin" question
>>> 
>>>          Hi, Y'all!
>>> 
>>>     Driving home this afternoon I heard much of Act III of the Met's
>>> broadcast of "Eugene Onegin" on Serius XM.  I pulled into the garage just
>>> as the late la Juntwaite was remarking that Onegin "tragically learns too
>>> late."
>>> 
>>>     Which prompts my question to all of you:  DOES HE?
>>> 
>>>     We have absolutely no evidence that, even at the end of the opera,
>>> he has "learned" anything at all.  But the opera presents 2 1/2 hours of
>>> evidence that he has spent his entire life as a thoughtless, opportunistic,
>>> cossetted, spoiled, narcissistic drifter.  I simply do not buy the notion
>>> that anything truly "tragic" has happened here.  In fact, I would compare
>>> Onegin to a very similar character in Dickens:  Steerforth, in "David
>>> Copperfield."
>>> 
>>>     I have never gotten around to reading the Pushkin verse novel, alas,
>>> and have always wanted to.
>>> 
>>>     What say you all?
>>> 
>>>     Best wishes,
>>> 
>>>     Dennis Ryan
>>> 
>> 
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