Eugene Onegin (opera)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Work data
Title: Eugene Onegin
Original title: Евгений Онегин
(Yevgeny Onegin)
[ jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj ɐˈnʲeɡʲɪn ]
Original language: Russian
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto : Konstantin Schilowski , Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Literary source: Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Premiere: March 17th jul. / March 29, 1879 greg.
Place of premiere: Moscow , Maly Theater
Playing time: about 3 hours
Place and time of the action: a Russian estate (1st and 2nd act), St. Petersburg (3rd act), around 1820
  • Larina, landowner's widow ( mezzo-soprano )
  • Tatjana, older daughter ( soprano )
  • Olga, younger daughter ( old )
  • Filipjewna, nanny ( mezzo-soprano )
  • Lenski, neighbor and poet ( tenor )
  • Eugene Onegin, neighbor ( baritone )
  • Triquet, a French ( tenor )
  • Prince Gremin ( bass )
  • Saretzki, second ( bass )
  • A captain ( bass )
  • Guillot, Onegin's valet (silent role)
  • Choir: farmers, berry pickers, festival guests

The opera Eugene Onegin was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky around 1878 . It is based on the eponymous verse novel Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin . Tchaikovsky chose the subtitle Lyric Scenes (лирические сцены) for his opera .


first act

1st picture (veranda in front of the Larins' country estate): The landowner's widow Larina and nurse Filipjewna are busy with housework and listen to the singing of Larina's daughters, the dreamy Tatiana and the fun-loving Olga. Larina recalls the dreams of her own youth and the disillusionment caused by the reality of a dispassionate marriage of convenience. A group of farmers come back from the harvest singing and bring Larina a thank you present. Tatjana is touched by the singing of the farmers, but Olga makes fun of her sentimentality. Then Olga's fiancé appears, the poet neighbor Lenski. He brings a guest with him, the new dandy neighbor Onegin.

2nd picture (Tatjana's room): The encounter with the cosmopolitan city dweller Onegin left a deep impression on Tatiana. Sleeplessly she asks the worried nurse Filipievna to tell about her life and her first love. But instead of passion and love, she only knows about her early forced marriage. Then Tatjana decides to write Onegin a letter in which she confesses her love for him (letter scene: and if it were my downfall ). The next morning she asks Filipievna to send her son to Onegin with the letter.

3rd picture (remote garden in the Larins' estate): Tatiana waits anxiously for Onegin. This finally appears. Although he feels honored by Tatjana's trust, he gives her to understand that he is not suitable for a marriage because of his unsteady nature. Tatjana is deeply disappointed and sees her dreams destroyed.

Second act

1st picture (ballroom in the Larin house): Tatjana's name day is celebrated. The guests are happy about the variety in the otherwise monotonous Russian country life. Onegin dances with Tatiana and hears the guests gossiping about him. Angry, Onegin blames Lenski for taking him to attend the festival and decides to court Olga a little out of revenge. He asked her several times to dance, which she responded coquettishly. When Lenski reproaches her for this, she only makes fun of him and punishes his jealousy by continuing to dance with Onegin. Before the situation escalates, the French Triquet gives a little serenade in honor of Tatiana. When Onegin Lenski asks why he was in a bad mood, the latter reproaches him seriously. The dispute finally escalates: Lenski challenges Onegin to a duel.

2nd picture (in a field at dawn): Lenski is waiting for Onegin with his second Saretzki. He looks back on his life full of gloomy foreboding (Aria: Where to, where have you disappeared to ). Onegin appears late. When Saretzki asks about his second, Onegin introduces Guillot, his valet, who is actually not in keeping with his class. Nevertheless, Lenski urges the duel to continue. The two of them remember their old friendship once more, but they are unable to reconcile. Onegin fatally hits Lensky.

Third act

1st picture (ballroom in the house of Prince Gremin in St. Petersburg): Years later Onegin returns to Russia after restless trips abroad. Even a ball in Prince Gremin's house cannot dispel his inner emptiness, restlessness and feelings of guilt. Then the elegant wife of the prince appears. Onegin is amazed and impressed: it's Tatiana. The unsuspecting prince introduces her to him and describes his happiness with his considerably younger wife. In Onegin the passion for the mature Tatiana is now kindled.

2nd picture (reception room in the Gremin house): Tatiana appears with a letter from Onegin. She is fearfully confronted with the ghosts of the past. Onegin finally appears and storms her. Tatiana reminds him of how he once rejected her and asks whether it is not really her new social position that awakened Onegin's passion. Onegin appears ashamed and assures him that he means it honestly and confirms his passionate feelings. Tatjana also slips out the admission that she still loves him. Onegin urges her to flee with him, but she lets him understand that she wants to remain loyal to her husband. All Onegin's efforts to change Tatiana’s mind are in vain. She tears away from him and leaves him desperate.

Performance history

The first performance by students of the Moscow Conservatory under the direction of Nikolai Rubinstein took place on March 17th July. / March 29, 1879 greg. held in Moscow's Maly Theater . The first performance in front of a large audience took place on January 11th . / January 23, 1881 greg. held at the Bolshoi Theater and became a great success. The first performance at the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater from October 19th jul. / October 31, 1884 greg. then finally became a resounding success and made the opera a standard work, first on Russian and later on international stages. The Czech composer Antonín Dvořák wrote to Tchaikovsky a few weeks later: “It is a wonderful creation, full of warm emotions and poetry and skillful in every detail, in short, this music is fascinating and penetrates our hearts so deeply that you never hear it can forget again ... God grant that you may still give us many works like this! "

The German premiere took place in 1892 at the Stadt-Theater Hamburg , under the direction of Gustav Mahler , "in the presence of the most satisfied composer". Wilhelm Cronberger sang Lenski .


Web links

Commons : Eugen Onegin  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Everett Helm : Peter I. Tchaikovsky. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Hamburg 1976, ISBN 3-499-50243-7 , p. 106
  2. Quoted from Gilbert Kaplan (ed.): Das Mahler-Album. 2nd, expanded edition. Brandstätter, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-85033-501-0 , p. 38
  3. ^ Wilhelm Cronberger at Operissimo  on the basis of the Great Singer LexiconTemplate: Operissimo / maintenance / use of parameter 2