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Subject: Re: onegin
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:34:36 +0100
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It’s certainly one way to interpret the role and, probably, more baritones than not have taken that attitude. This is particularly so in the scene where Onegin responds to Tatyana’s letter and crushes her.

I have seen it done differently and the most compelling (and, in fact the interpretation that has haunted me more than any other) was by Simon Keenlyside. He portrayed him as someone who doesn’t really have anything enduring in his life and therefore nothing to lose, who does things that stir up people just “for the hell of it.” He flirted with Tatyana because he saw she was interested and made himself delightful and sparkling.

When she responded more heavily than he expected, he was defensive and outright scared. Picking the fight with Lensky was another “for the hell of it” until he found himself in over his head and didn’t know how to get out of it. Both were cases of things that he stirred up as amusement, but which quickly escalated into more than he could handle. A bit of an emotional “arsonist.”

Coming back after Tatyana once she was rich and beautiful (and married) was no little because he realized he had totally f’ed up his life and had absolutely nothing and no one to show for it.

It was different from any other interpretation I’d seen, but actually stayed very credible to the words and music he’s given.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Jan 18, 2018, at 5:19 PM, k youngmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> For the past several days we’ve been trying to explain Onegin’s character. So far I don’t remember anyone using the term “sanctimonious.” It fits. But, just to offer some options, I looked up the word on thesaurus.com and found some other applicable words: smug, self-satisfied and Pecksniffian (after the Dickens character Seth Pecksniff in “Martin Chuzzlewit”).
> 
> Kurt Youngmann
> 
> “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, bamboozle them with bulls*it” - W.C. Fields
> 
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