Home > Eugene Onegin
|Tchaikovsky, P. I. (1840-1893)
First performed March 29, 1879.
Libretto by the composer (in Russian), after Pushkin.
|A Summary of “Eugene Onegin”
In the 1820s, in a rural area of Russia, Tatiana is a
daughter of the landowner in the country. She is a quiet country girl. Her
younger sister, Olga, is active, and has a fiance, Lenski. One day, Lenski
visits Olga with his friend, Eugene Onegin.
Onegin is a sophisticated intelligent man. Tatiana falls in love with him
at once. She sits up all night writing a long letter to him. However, Onegin
says to her, “I don’t want to marry you. I think of you as just like
a sister. You must refrain from your inconsiderate act.”
A ball is held in Tatiana’s house. Onegin goes to the
ball with Lenski. But, Onegin gets bored. So, he tries to seduce Olga. Lenski
gets seriously angry with him. Finally, Lenski challenges Onegin to a duel.
Lenski dies. Why did it turn out like this?
Onegin makes a journey, because he wants to dispel the
regret of losing his best friend.
After several years, Onegin returns to St. Petersburg.
He attends at a ball in the house of Prince Gremin who is an ex-serviceman.
Prince Gremin introduces his young wife. She is Tatiana. In addition, she has
grown to be a sophisticated woman.
Onegin asks Tatiana to marry. Tatiana admits that she still loves him at
a little. But, she decides to refuse his offer of marriage, and she leaves.
|A Comment on “Eugene Onegin”
|Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is known as a famous composer who composed three
famous ballets, “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Nutcracker,”
and famous symphonies, “Symphony No.5,” “Symphony No.6 (Pathetique).”
His most important opera is “Eugene Onegin.” The original is from Alexander
Sergeyevich Pushkin’s novel. Pushkin is the founder of modern Russian
literature. This opera is also the most important of Russian Operas.
Before Tchaikovsky began to compose this opera, he had
seen Bizet’s opera, “Carmen.” Tchaikovsky was affected by the realistic opera
composition technique. He searched for a suitable text for his opera. His
lover, a Soprano opera singer, introduces him to Pushkin’s novel, and he
decides to compose an opera based on this novel. He doesn’t express spectacular
operatic scenes, but delicate and real feelings of the characters. He names
this opera “lyrical scenes.”
Tchaikovsky’s melody is very sweet. “Eugene Onegin” also has a lot of
romantic melodies. The scene of Tatiana writing the letter, and Lenski’s
aria are excellent. Title role, Eugene Onegin, is a Russian elite, and
he has pessimistic thinking. But, Tchaikovsky feels an affinity with the
dreamer, Tatiana. I think that Tchaikovsky’s music matches Tatiana’s
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
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