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Subject: Re: onegin
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:01:10 -0500

text/plain (58 lines)

Max is, I’m assuming, referencing the Covent Garden production which was 
one of the most emotionally gripping Onegin’s I’ve seen in a while, and his 
description of Keenlyside’s portrayal is spot on, although I sometimes
waivered as seeing him also as an angry character.  The relationship with 
Lensky is volatile and a bit abusive.  The fight at Tatyana’s name day party 
exploded with a violence I’ve never before witnessed in this opera.  I 
watched it as though my first Onegin, and didn’t know what was coming 
next; I honestly thought they just might kill each other there and then.  

“Kuda, kuda . . .” heartbreaking by its nature, here became almost 
unbearably emotional, Breslik offering a voice of tenderness and youth the 
role demands.  Keenlyside’s Onegin, here as ghost, watches with poignant 
intensity before wrapping his body around Lensky like a blanket, an 
attempt to prevent him leaving the room for the tragedy to follow, breaking 
down and covering his face, all too aware they’ve arrived at the point of no 

Side note:  In her 50’s Krassimira Stoyanova, like Galina Vishnevskaya 
before her, makes as strong a case as possible for a “no longer young” 
singer still having much to offer in the role, and along with a not young 
Keenlyside, aided by a director sensitive to making these characters match 
their music perfectly.  I’m generally not a fan of “doubles” onstage, but this 
was magical.  


* * * * * * *

Max wrote (in part):

"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
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 h
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.”

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

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