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Subject: Re: "Eugene Onegin" question
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:03:25 -0500

text/plain (54 lines)

Mr. Kane wrote:

"So Onegin is an "anti hero"; like a host of others in opera; enough with 
the psychoanalysis!  Tschaikowsky thought Pushkin's plot would make a 
good opera, and he was right.  "Syrupy music"  -  but beautiful as 
Massenet? I don't think so; I would not trade the complete works of 
Massenet for one of Tshaikowsky's best tunes, of which there are far too ma
many to begin to mention, in, as well as out, of  his operas."

As to the "enough with the psychoanalysis"  I can only ask: Why?  I would 
never dream of telling someone else the manner in which they should 
enjoy opera, and similarly don’t particularly care for it when someone tells me
me HOW.  

Pushkin’s poem does indeed make a good opera (which was part of my 
point in pointing out how many critics have told us otherwise), but Onegin is also more than just good 
is also more than just good “tunes” and the characters (all of them) make 
for interesting character studies and analyzation.  As a singer, I can tell 
you merely learning the words and music, while no small feat in and of 
itself, just ain’t enough.  We’ve all heard many singers who, despite dulcet 
tones and (sometimes) good diction, can still make some of opera’s most 
exciting characters into little more than vocalises.  Opera is theatre, and we
we should feel free to look under the makeup of  its characters just as we wo
would those penned by Shakespeare, Ibsen, or Shaw.  The composers ce
certainly have!  

Each composer has his/her defenders and critics, and while you may not 
care for the work of Massenet (who I adore) many feel the same way about 
the “syrupy” or “heart on sleeve” music of Tchaikovsky (again . . . I ad
adore).   Preferences matter little to each of us, outside of the fact that we ma
may have particular favorites which, due to fluctuations in popularity, we ma
may not get to see or hear as often.  

Speaking of Tchaikovsky, I’m still on a “high” from Odyssey’s “Maid of 
Orleans” – in Boston this past fall.  The Met really is missing the boat on 
this one.  To that end, and for anyone who missed it, here’s a brief, but still t
thrilling highlight reel:


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