Much-loved Tchaikovsky opera gets big screen treatment
The season of Royal Opera House screenings at Strode Theatre in Street continues with a live transmission of Tchaikovsky's passionate late-19th-century opera Eugene Onegin.
Tchaikovsky's best-loved opera is based on Alexander Pushkin's verse drama of the same name, a tender exploration of a young girl's awakening passion, her rejection by the aloof Onegin and her ultimate choice of honour over true love.
It provided Tchaikovsky with an opportunity to present every-day and authentic experiences on the stage, in contrast to the epic narratives that characterised much European opera of the time.
Eugene Onegin quickly became a firm favourite with Russian audiences.
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Within a decade of its 1879 premiere it had been performed more than 100 times in St Petersburg.
An opera full of poignancy and sensitivity to the nuances of growing up, Eugene Onegin is Kasper Holten's first production for The Royal Opera.
Holten himself describes the opera as "full of poetry and melancholy, encapsulating the fragile and turbulent emotions of youth, self-realisation and finally the yearning to go back and undo what cannot be undone".
Tchaikovsky's deep sympathy for his heroine Tatyana is shown in the tenderness of her music.
Her yearning string motif opens the opera and it gains full expression in her letter aria in Act I – one of the most intense solo scenes ever written for the soprano voice.
In Holten's new production, the turbulence of Tatyana and Onegin's youth is contrasted with the self-realisation they gain in later life.
The staging foregrounds the power of memory and the often futile longing to undo past mistakes that comes with experience.
Eugene Onegin will be screened at Strode Theatre live from Covent Garden on Wednesday, February 20, at 7.15pm, and runs for approximately three hours including one interval.
Tickets are £15, concessions £13, available at www.strodetheatre.co.uk or from Strode Theatre's Box Office on 01458 442846.