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Subject: Re: "Eugene Onegin" question
From: Nina Gettler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Nina Gettler <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 13 Jan 2018 19:25:37 +0100

text/plain (63 lines)

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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