Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse »Eugene Onegin« is a key work of Russian literature. Tchaikovsky’s operatic version from 1878 borrowed some of Pushkin’s original text for its libretto. Tired of the big city life with its abundance of parties and women, the dandy Eugene Onegin moves to the country where he meets Tatyana, the daughter of an estate owner. She sees in him the embodiment of her romantic dreams, yet Onegin brusquely rejects the young woman. Only years later does Onegin realize his grave mistake – yet it is too late, as Tatjana has already married Prince Gremin.
While in the novel, Pushkin draws a scathing portrait of contemporary society, Tchaikovsky’s opera illuminates the souls of his loving and suffering characters, drawing us into their passions by the power of music. The Semperoper will perform »Eugene Onegin« in a shortened concert version featuring all the important arias and ensembles. Actor Moritz Kienemann will tie the musical numbers together with selections of Pushkin’s powerful verse, which also provide an ironic commentary on the proceedings.