The performance by Yuri Alexandrov gives the audience a new look at the familiar plot of the most popular Russian opera.
The experience of interpreting the famous opera, which is part of the golden fund of Russian classics, turned into an unconventional directorial decision in the performance. “We are not showing Tchaikovsky’s opera, but our attitude towards Tchaikovsky and Pushkin,” the director Yuri Alexandrov formulated the concept of the performance. In Eugene Onegin, the shift in semantic and temporal accents allows one to look at the operatic characters a little distantly, in the context of the stylistics of Chekhov’s rather than Pushkin’s theatre.
House of the Larins. The daughters are singing – always pensive, dreamy Tatyana and the playful laughing Olga. Their youthful voices remind mother and nanny of a past youth. Guests arrive: the Larins’ neighbor, a young enthusiastic poet Lensky, Olga’s fiancé, passionately in love with her since childhood, and his friend Onegin, a cold, arrogant dandy who recently arrived at his estate from St. Petersburg. The arrival of guests brings confusion. Everyone is excited, meeting a new person with joy and interest. Olga is keen on talking with Lensky; Tatyana is unusually embarrassed by the attention of the guest.
Tatyana’s room. Tatyana is full of feelings that so unexpectedly captured her. In vain, Filippyevna tries to entertain young girl by telling her about her youth and early marriage. Tatyana does not listen well and asks the nanny to leave her alone. All Tatyana’s thoughts are occupied by Onegin, who captivated the imagination of a village girl. Tatyana is in love; she has no doubts that Onegin is the person she has been secretly waiting for all her life. “You appeared to me in my dreams, invisible, you were already dear to me,” she trustingly confides her feelings in a letter to him... A whole gamut of experiences changes on this night in Tatyana's soul. At Tatiana’s request, Filippyevna hands over a letter to Onegin.
In the garden of the Larins, the serene song of the girls sounds. Tatyana is in terrible confusion: Onegin arrived, he received her letter! Painful repentance seizes the girl.
But it’s too late – Onegin is already there... With cold dignity, he reads a morality to Tatyana: “Learn to rule yourself: not everyone will understand you love me; inexperience leads to trouble!”
A ball is being given in honour of Tatyana, whose name day it is. Onegin grows irritated with a group of neighbours who gossip about him and Tatyana, and with Lensky for persuading him to come to the ball. He decides to avenge himself by dancing and flirting with Olga. Lensky renounces his friendship with Onegin in front of all the guests, and challenges Onegin to a duel.
Lensky is at the place of the duel. Lensky is waiting for Onegin with his second Zaretsky. Finally, Onegin arrives. Both Lensky and Onegin are reluctant to go ahead with the duel, reflecting on the senselessness of their sudden enmity. But it is too late; neither man has the courage to stop the duel. Zaretsky gives them the signal and Onegin shoots Lensky. Rushing to him, Onegin sees with horror that his friend is dead.
Ball in one of the aristocratic houses of St. Petersburg. Among those invited, Prince Gremin, a veteran of the Russian wars, was favorably received by the royal court. Here, at a high-society celebration, he meets his old friend Onegin, who recently returned from abroad. Onegin has not been in St. Petersburg for several years, he does not know that Gremin got married Tatyana Larina. Gremin introduces a friend to his wife. Onegin is amazed: he hardly recognizes in this grand, aristocratic lady the old girl to whom he once read lectures. “Alas, there is no doubt, I am in love! In love like a boy, full of young passion!” Onegin admits to himself.
For many days Eugene was looking for a meeting with Tatyana, he said many words of love in his letters to her, but ... there is no answer. Tatyana has received Onegin’s letter, which has stirred up the passion she felt for him as a young girl and disturbed her. Onegin decides to disregard the rules and come to her house without an invitation. Onegin enters the room of the Princess Gremina, and sees Tatyana reading the letters. Onegin’s passion is real and overwhelming. Tatyana asserts that their union can never be realized, as she is now married, and determined to remain faithful to her husband despite her true feelings. Onegin implores her to relent, but she bids him farewell forever, leaving him alone and in despair.
Don Giovanni in the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera is the director's original interpretation of Mozart's genius piece.