Onegin in Poland


Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Wed 7:00pm January 15, 2015
Moniuszko Auditorium

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Lyrical scenes in three acts and seven scenes
Libretto by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Konstantin Shilovsky after Alexander Pushkin
World premiere: Maly Theatre, Moscow, 29 March 1879
Polish premiere: Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, 4 May 1899
Premiere of this production: 5 April 2002
Original language version with Polish surtitles

Duration: 3 hours 15 min., including 2 breaks


Conductor: Andriy Yurkevych
Direction: Mariusz Treliński
Set Design: Boris Kudlička
Costumes: Joanna Klimas
Choreography: Emil Wesołowski
Chorus Master: Bogdan Gola
Lights: Felice Ross

Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, Polish National Ballet, Mimes and Modelsonegin5

Photo: Juliusz Multarzyński, Stefan Okołowicz


Larina – Ewa Marciniec
Tatiana – Irina Mataeva
Olga – Karolina Sikora
Filippevna, Tatiana’s nurse – Joanna Cortes
Eugene Onegin – Artur Ruciński
Lensky – Pavlo Tolstoy
Prince Gremin – Aleksander Teliga
A captain – Czesław Gałka
Zaretsky – Robert Dymowski
Triquet – Tomasz Piluchowski


This show is a culmination of Treliński’s long-time fascination with the “superfluous man” character, a hero of 19th-century Russian literature whom Treliński found in both his films and his operas – to mention Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Szymanowski’s King Roger. Tackling the adaptation of Pushkin’s masterpiece, aware of Tchaikovsky’s substantial divergence from the poetic original (the digressive poem’s keen irony was almost completely erased, with psychological truth gaining the upper hand), Treliński introduced the mimed character of an old man in white with a walking stick.

onegin7He is Onegin summing up his wasted life, seemingly watching helpless as the events of his past unfold but still controlling them. How many images from this production, which as usual is strongly inspired by Kudlička’s stage imagination, become embedded in the memory! Tatyana writing her letter under the watchful eye of the unconcerned, creepy fop who hovers over the trembling girl like a vulture, the parade of attractive ghost models m ving “out of step” with the walking beat of the magnificent polonaise, or the “Russian” birches gradually freezing in the distant, cold background during the two friends’ mindless duel, a landscape that speaks volumes as a symbol of Lensky fading away before our eyes and of Onegin’s spiritual death. A masterpiece!onegin8

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