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Tchaikovsky, P. I. (1840-1893)

Eugene Onegin

Composed 1877-1878.
First performed March 29, 1879.
Libretto by the composer (in Russian), after Pushkin.

A Summary of gEugene Oneginh

Act 1
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, gI donft want to marry you. I think of you as just like a sister. You must refrain from your inconsiderate act.h

Act 2
A ball is held in Tatianafs 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?

Act 3
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 gEugene Oneginh

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is known as a famous composer who composed three famous ballets, gSwan Lake,h gSleeping Beauty,h gThe Nutcracker,h and famous symphonies, gSymphony No.5,h gSymphony No.6 (Pathetique).h His most important opera is gEugene Onegin.h The original is from Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkinfs 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 Bizetfs opera, gCarmen.h 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 Pushkinfs novel, and he decides to compose an opera based on this novel. He doesnft express spectacular operatic scenes, but delicate and real feelings of the characters. He names this opera glyrical scenes.h

Tchaikovskyfs melody is very sweet. gEugene Oneginh also has a lot of romantic melodies. The scene of Tatiana writing the letter, and Lenskifs 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 Tchaikovskyfs music matches Tatianafs character.

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