5/31: Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Eugene Onegin (On The Radio)


This upcoming Saturday (5/31) tune in to WQXR and hear Chicago Lyric Opera‘s version of Eugene Onegin with Dmitry Hvorostovsky who sang Onegin with Fleming last year at the Met (DVD of that performance is available) – it is the same production as the Met’s so you’re not missing anything, if you saw it in HD Broadcast last year, but the singing cast is different (except, of course, for DH):

May 31: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Sir Andrew Davis is on the podium, leading a cast featuring Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Onegin, Dina Kuznetsova as Tatyana, Frank Lopardo as Lensky, Nino Surguladze as Olga, and Vitalij Kowaljow as Prince Grenin. 1PM (Eastern Time)

Here’s a review of the production. It’s kind of annoying but it does give you some details about the opera performance. For example, this part of the review is kind of overly… Russian?

And, like many Russians, particularly Russian intellectuals, I’m critical of Tchaikovsky’s operatic setting of the plot of the novel. As you might expect, the work is full of good dance music: waltzes, polonaises, ecossaises, and more. And it has some melodic if not memorable arias, Tatyana’s in the first act, Lensky’s lament in the second, and Prince Gremin’s aria in the third. My criticism has more to do with the way in which the libretto treats its characters, particularly that of Tatyana.

Of course, part of the seemingly arrogant style is clearly Russian national characteristic, still no need to be so pretentious and speak for “many Russians” – however, my mother’s most damning accusation was always to call someone “uncultured” (некультурный) so in this case the reviewing gentleman is clearly very “cultured” – there’s also some discussion of the cast and links to other reviews in that piece as well:

The cast was, perhaps, the most even of any opera we’ve heard this season. Dina Kuznetsova was marvelous as Tatyana, and her first act aria received lengthy and deserved applause. Frank Lopardo did his typically excellent job in the role of Lensky, Onegin’s friend and eventual dueling opponent. His Russian accent was awful. Vitalij Kowaljow was a standout as Gremin, Tatyana’s military hero husband. His third act aria proclaiming his love for Tatyana was one of the high points of the evening.

Speaking of Lyric Opera, they’re doing Lulu next year in November, if I can save enough green, it would be a great trip to the Windy City to see Marlis Petersen.

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