“Eugene Onegin” in Munich

Bayerische Staatsoper


Eugene Onegin

Eugen Onegin: Simon Keenlyside (Onegin), Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Tatjana) Eugen Onegin: Simon Keenlyside (Onegin), Ain Anger (Saretzki), Pavol Breslik (Lenski) Eugen Onegin: Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Tatjana), Ain Anger (Fürst Gremin)

Peter I. Tschaikowsky

Libretto by Peter I. Tchaikovsky and Konstantin Shilovsky after Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel

The story of a cosmopolitan, educated, yet excessively arrogant outsider. He antagonizes the women who love and desire him, just as he does his friend, whom he ultimately kills in a duel. Is it Onegin’s longing to see himself always reflected in others? Is it his inability to adjust socially? The answer for him and the people with whom he comes into contact is bitter. Its name: solitude. Tchaikovsky’s “Lyrical Scenes” subtitled Eugene Onegin ranks among the greatest, most beautiful and most frequently performed Russian operas.

In Russian with German surtitles


Saturday, 4 January 2014, 7.00 p.m.
Tuesday, 7 January 2014, 7.00 p.m.
Friday, 10 January 2014, 7.00 p.m.


An evening in the country, (almost) like any other

Everyone is gathered together. The sisters Tatiana and Olga are singing a duet; their widowed mother, Larina, and Filipievna are listening to them. The girls‘ song awakens memories of their own youth. A neighbour starts singing a different song which they all know and join in. Larina finds this all a little bit too much melancholy for one evening and demands some cheerful music and the mood lightens.

Tatiana is dreaming and Olga rudely brings her back to reality. Larina and Filipievna are worried about Tatiana, who suddenly seems to them to be very pale. Tatiana sets everybody’s mind at rest; she has merely been very absorbed in a novel she is reading.
Larina sympathetically declares reading to be a fleeting phenomenon of youth.

An unexpected visits causes excitement. Vladimir Lenski, who has been engaged to Olga for a long time, drops by, bringing with him a friend – Eugene Onegin. This young man from the city is visiting his friend, and everyone is greatly impressed by him. Tatiana believes this to a meeting destined to happen and falls head over heels in love.
The older folk leave the young people to their own devices. Lenski is completely lost in his admiration of Olga and Onegin tries to get into conversation with Tatiana.
They are called in for a meal.

A sleepless night, confessions I

Tatiana is still awake. Filipievna also makes no move to retire and starts to chat about the past. Tatiana wants to hear a story about love. Filipievna’s stories are sad: she married a man chosen for her by her parents. Filipievna is worried about Tatiana, who seems ill and feverish. Tatiana admits that she is in love but does not talk about it and swears Filipievna to secrecy.
Filipievna finally goes to bed, leaving Tatiana dizzy with the violence of her emotions. She tries to put a name to them and formulates an incredible, and fateful, declaration of love.
Day breaks. Tatiana hands Filipievna a letter, which she is to take safely and discreetly to Onegin.

Late afternoon, destroyed hopes

Tatiana waits impatiently for Onegin’s reaction to her letter. He arrives in person and Tatiana is in a state of considerable emotion, feelings of both joy and shame. Onegin thanks her for her frank letter and calmly, collectedly and with great understanding explains to her that he cannot return her feelings. Love and marriage are not for him. Finally he advises her to keep her feelings under better control so that she will not be taken advantage of by the first man to come along. Tatiana is silently humiliated.

Evening, an unsuccessful ball

The house is full of guests for a ball in honour of Tatiana’s birthday. Onegin is also present, having been persuaded to come by Lenski. He congratulates Tatiana and dances with her, which gives rise to gossip. People still think they make an ideal couple. Onegin senses that they are the focus of attention and that people are talking about them and so he steals Olga from Lenski and dances with her. Tatiana feels out of place at her own ball; Lenski is jealous and showers reproaches on Olga.
One or two people perform, to the amusement of the guests, but fail to make either Tatiana or Lenski feel more cheerful.
Onegin approaches Lenski but is rebuffed. He wants to have a frank discussion with Lenski but the whole thing develops into a quarrel, while the guests listen. Lenski insults Onegin in front of them all, declares their friendship to be over and challenges him to a duel.

Before dawn, no dream or the lost opportunity

Lenski is waiting impatiently for Onegin to arrive to fight the duel. He takes farewell of life and all that he has loved.
A short while later the two friends are facing each other as rivals. Both are shocked by the distance that is now between them, but neither of them can manage a gesture of reconciliation which would end the duel.
The second, Saretzky, urges them to hurry. The rules are quickly explained.
Onegin takes aim and fires, fatally wounding his friend.

An evening years later, the reunion

Memories of Lenski haunt Onegin; he is tortured by feelings of guilt. Frustrated with his life, he returns from years of aimless travel abroad.
He meets Tatiana again unexpectedly, in the capital. She is now married to Gremin, a respected member of society.
Gremin tells Onegin how happy his marriage is and raves about his charming wife. He introduces them to each other and they admit that they have met before – in a different time.
Onegin feels drawn to Tatiana. He wants to begin a new life with this woman.

A short while later, confessions II

Tatiana is waiting for Onegin, who has asked her to meet him for a private chat. Her passion for him has not diminished with the years, but she doubts the sincerity of his feelings. Onegin is full of remorse, begs her forgiveness, throws himself at her feet. Tatiana confesses her love for him a second time. He urges her to leave her husband, but Tatiana tears herself away from him and flees to the safety of her life with Gremin.
Onegin is left alone.

© Bavarian State Opera


Kirill Petrenko. © Wilfried Hösl
Kirill Petrenko
Kirill Petrenko was born in Omsk in 1972 and studied piano there at the Music Academy. At the age of eleven, he made his first public appearance as a pianist with the city’s symphony orchestra. In 1990, the family (his father was a violinist, his mother a musicologist) moved to the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, where his father obtained a job as an orchestral musician and music teacher. Petrenko initially continued his studies in Feldkirch and then studied conducting at the University of Music in Vienna, from which he graduated in June 1997. His first engagement, from autumn 1997, was as Assistant and rehearsal accompanist at the Volksoper in Vienna.From 1999 to 2002, Kirill Petrenko served as General Music Director at the theatre in Meiningen, where he attracted international attention for the first time in 2001 with the Ring des Nibelungen in the production directed by Christine Mielitz and designed by Alfred Hrdlicka.

From 2002 to 2007, Kirill Petrenko was General Music Director at the Komische Oper in Berlin. The most important new productions, which Petrenko decisively influenced here included interpretations in collaboration with directors such as Peter Konwitschny, Calixto Bieito, Willi Decker or Andreas Homoki.

In parallel with his positions in Meiningen and Berlin, his international career also took off very quickly. Major débuts included the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in 2000; the Vienna State Opera and the Semperoper in Dresden in 2001; the Gran Teatre de Liceu, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera and Metropolitan Opera New York in 2003; the Frankfurt opera in 2005. From 2006 to 2008, he collaborated with Peter Stein on P.I. Tchaikovsky’s cycle of Pushkin operas in Lyon, which was then performed in its entirety in spring 2010.
Since leaving the Komische Oper in July 2007, Kirill Petrenko has worked as a guest conductor. In 2009, among other works, he conducted the new production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa directed by Barbara Frey at the Bavarian State Opera and Hans Pfizner’s Palestrina directed by Harry Kupfer in Frankfurt. In 2011, Kirill Petrenko conducted the new production of Tosca in collaboration with Andreas Kriegenburg, again in Frankfurt, along with Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (in collaboration with Willy Decker) in Lyon and at the Ruhr Triennale.

The most important orchestras that Kirill Petrenko has conducted to date include the Berlin Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Orchestra of WDR Cologne, the Hamburg Philharmonic and the Hamburg NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Museum Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Santa Cecilia, the Orchestra RAI Torino and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, Kirill Petrenko has conducted concerts at the Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals.

Summer 2013 will see a new production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival.

From 1 September 2013, Kirill Petrenko will assume the post of General Music Director at the Bavarian State Opera. New productions in the 2012/13 season: Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten.





Set and Costumes

Malgorzata Szczesniak



Felice Ross



Saar Magal
Saar Magal
Saar Magal studied dance at the Telma Yalin Art High School in Tel Aviv and at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London. She won first prize at the choreography competition “On the Way to London”. After completing her education, she worked, among others, with the Batsheva Dance Company and the Koldmana Dance Company in Tel Aviv, at the National Theatre Habimah and at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London. Initial collaboration with the producer Krzysztof Warlikowski in 1997 was followed by numerous subsequent projects and, among other works, they jointly staged Hamlet in Tel Aviv, Parsifal at the Opéra National de Paris, Medée at Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels as well as additional productions in Warsaw and Stuttgart. Besides her artistic work, she teaches dance, improvisation and choreography at various dancing schools in Israel. At the Bavarian State Opera, she developed the choreography for Warlikowski’s staging of Eugene Onegin.






Peter Heilker











Larissa Diadkova


Eugen Onegin

Artur Rucinski




Fürst Gremin / Saretzki

Rafal Siwek (© Wojtek Wieteska)


Ein Hauptmann

Leonard Bernad


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