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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:Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:18:59 +0100

text/plain (80 lines)

This has never occurred to me before, but you are completely right. 
"Boheme" or "Rigoletto" will survive a crazy production, but not 
"Onegin." This is completely borne out by the recent production of 
"Onegin" here in Graz. It was very well sung, I could have lived with 
the practically set-less production in gray and white, BUT

In the first act, Olga engages in some enthusiastic cuddling with the 
help (to show her flirtatious nature, I assume)
The "Personenregie" had Onegin talking to Tatiana, when he should have 
been talking to Lenski or just musing to himself, which made absolutely 
no sense.
Monsieur Triquet was dressed up as a Harlequin figure.
Onegin does not kill Lenski. Lenski shoots himself.
When the curtain opens on the last act, Onegin and Tatiana are asleep, 
having spent the night together.

For me, this was the most painful production I have ever seen.

I'm going to Vienna to see "Onegin" next month to get the bad taste out 
of my mouth. It's a plain, pretty traditional. innocuous production, 
but, except for Kwiecien, the cast is new for me in these roles.
Olga Bezsmertna, Mariusz Kwiecien, Rolando Villazón (very curious to 
hear how he sounds), Ferruccio Furlanetto (I know that he's not what he 
used to be ...)

Nina Gettler
Graz, Austria

On 1/17/2018 12:42 PM, OPERA-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:00:34 +0200
> From:    Maxwell Paley<[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: "Eugene Onegin" question
> I=E2=80=99m not sure what drew up the comparison, but I enjoy and respect Ma=
> ssenet (particularly =E2=80=9CWerther=E2=80=9D and that superb Letter Scene)=
>   but much of Tchaikovsky=E2=80=99s music engages me at a much more profound l=
> evel. A good performance of =E2=80=9CEugene Onegin=E2=80=9D or =E2=80=9CQuee=
> n of Spades=E2=80=9D can rivet me and leave me powerfully shaken.
> I find these somewhat fragile works in a sense, as I would also say of Wagne=
> r=E2=80=99s =E2=80=9CTristan und Isolde.=E2=80=9D Some works (=E2=80=9CCarme=
> n,=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CRigoletto,=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CBoh=C3=A8me=E2=80=9D) are i=
> ndestructible. The essence of the work will somehow survive a mediocre or ev=
> en bad performance. These two Tchaikovsky works need a high quality of singi=
> ng, acting, conducting and stage production as well as a very special type o=
> f sensitivity to get off the ground.
> When I was young, critical opinion was still pondering whether Tchaikovsky=E2=
> =80=99s work should be considered great music. I think that the ideas people=
>   then had about his personal life being turbulent and neurotic and the tende=
> ncy toward great exaggerations in =E2=80=9Cromantic=E2=80=9D interpretations=
>   of his music had an undermining effect leading many to consider that his wa=
> s not =E2=80=9Cproper=E2=80=9D music compared to the likes of Brahms or Beet=
> hoven. I see a great positive change in that regard over the past 50 years.
> His symphonies occupy my sound system very highly, as do the ballet scores, s=
> ongs, chamber works and concerti (although the famous First Piano Concerto i=
> s one of my less favorites). Of the symphonies, there=E2=80=99s not a loser i=
> n the bunch and I=E2=80=99m astonished at the invention and quality of even t=
> he earliest.
> The last 3 symphonies are played more than the early ones, but people who ha=
> ven=E2=80=99t explored the first 3 are in for a delight.
> Max Paley

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