|Genre||Opera > Opera|
|Copyright||© Preiser Records|
Eugene Onegin has retired from the gay life he has been enjoying in St. Petersburg, to the country seat of his uncle. Thoroughly bored with country quietude he forms a friendship with Lensky, a young neighbouring landowner. Lenksy introduces Onegin to the landowners of the vicinity. Amongst them there is Madame Larina, an exceptionally handsome woman, who at one time was the very life of Petersburg society. Continued life in the country has made Larina dull and insipid. Her two daughters reflect their mother’s personality in different ways. Olga is a cheerful but rather superficial girl. Tatyana, on the other hand, is a dreamer, melancholic and stimulated by the enormous number of books she has read. In Onegin she recognises her girlish ideal. In a rush of enthusiasm she writes Onegin a long letter n which she expresses her admiration – she calls it something deeper – for the young St. Petersburg gallant. Onegin is touched, but he knows too much of the world to imagine he may ever find lasting peace with the young girl, and, though he admits to himself that he is not without feeling for her, he rebuffs her, calling her a silly schoolgirl. Act II. Tatyana’s saint’s day is to be celebrated by a ball. Lensky invites Onegin in the hope that its brightness may alleviate his boredom. But the country folk who come to the ball are more deadly than existence itself to Onegin. In a fit of unreasoning anger against it all he turns on Lensky, and seeks to wreak a poor sort of vengeance by flirting violently with the far-too-ready Olga. Lensky takes the matter very seriously, flies into a temper, and challenges Onegin to a duel. Onegin does not take the matter seriously, but Lensky’s wrath is fanned by a fanatical neighbour Zaretsky until there is nothing left but to fight. The duel takes place, and Lensky is shot. Act III: Many years have passed. The weight upon his conscience imposed by the fatal duel with Lensky weighs heavily on Onegin’s soul. He has wandered far and wide, a voluntary exile from Russia, to forget. But he can forget neither Lensky nor the little schoolgirl Tatyana. Russia calls to him and after long wandering he returns to St. Petersburg. His friends welcome him back, and one of them, Prince Gremin, invites him to his house. Princess Greminova is none other than Tatyana. Passion for the gracious lady that Tatyana has become, inflames Onegin. He meets her secretly and protests his love. Tatyana gently repulses him. She loves him still she says, but she has a duty as a wife and she must put that duty first. Onegin leaves Russia for ever.