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Seattle Opera.

Eugene Onegin

Jan. 11-25, 2020

“Gorgeous score, potent emotion, and compelling arias... a sumptuous, expertly performed production.”
Crosscut

Overview

A striking new production. The sumptuous costumes and elegant scenery tastefully convey the continental opulence of rich gentry in nineteenth-century Russia.”

Opera News


By Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky

For Tatyana, it’s love at first sight. She stays up all night baring her soul in a passionate letter to Onegin, only to suffer crushing heartbreak the next day. When he finally returns her affections, it’s too late—a rival has appeared.

With breathtaking music by Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, 1812 Overture) and a story based on Alexander Pushkin’s masterful verse novel, Eugene Onegin is poignant Russian romance at its finest. Lush orchestrations, elegant ballroom dances, grand sets, and elaborate period costumes bring 1800s Russia to life on the McCaw Hall stage for the first time in this achingly beautiful tale of longing, remorse, and love unfulfilled.

Watch the preview

© Philip Newton

Listen to the music

© Sunny Martini

In Russian with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes including two intermissions

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Synopsis

ACT I
The Larina Family Home
At her country estate, Madame Larina and nurse Filipevna can hear Larina’s two daughters, Tatyana and Olga, sing a song about love. Larina begins to reminisce about her own marriage to a man she did not love; “The good Lord sends us habit as a substitute for happiness,” she concludes. The workers on the estate sing and dance to celebrate the harvest. Tatyana is lost in the romantic literature she loves, while her younger, more carefree sister Olga wants to join the celebration. Larina warns Tatyana that real life is different from her stories. Filipevna announces that two young men have arrived: Olga’s fiancé Lensky, a poet, and his new friend Eugene Onegin. Tatyana is immediately attracted to Onegin, who tells her he has inherited a nearby estate and how dull he finds life in the country. Filipevna recognizes the effect Onegin has on Tatyana.

Tatyana's Room
Tatyana is dressed for bed, but she is restless and unable to sleep. She asks Filipevna to tell her stories about her youth and marriage. Tatyana confesses that she has fallen for Onegin. Once alone, she pours her heart out into a letter to Onegin. Filipevna enters to wake Tatyana. Tatyana convinces Filipevna to have her grandson deliver the letter to Onegin.

Another Part of the Estate
Servant girls sing songs while they pick fruit. Meanwhile, Tatyana anxiously awaits Onegin’s response to her letter. Onegin enters and explains that he is not a man who falls in love easily. He tells her that he is unworthy of her love and can only offer her friendship. He warns Tatyana to stay in control of her emotions. The servant girls are heard singing again. Devastated, Tatyana is unable to respond to his rejection.

ACT II
The Ballroom of the Larina Estate
Against his better judgment, Onegin accompanies Lensky to a party celebrating Tatyana’s name day. Onegin dances with Tatyana but becomes increasingly irritated by the gossipy old neighbors, whom he overhears maliciously discussing him and Tatyana. An elderly French fop, Monsieur Triquet, sings a song he has composed honoring Tatyana. Onegin decides to punish Lensky for dragging him to this miserable party by flirting with Olga. Enraged, Lensky challenges Onegin to a duel. Onegin reluctantly accepts the challenge.

A barren field.
Lensky and his second, Zaretsky, wait for Onegin. Lensky reflects on his life, his poetry, his fear of death, and his love for Olga. Onegin arrives with his servant, Guillot. Both Onegin and Lensky are reluctant to go forward with the duel, but neither has the courage to stop it. Zaretsky gives the signal. Onegin shoots and kills Lensky.

ACT III
Prince Gremin’s Palace in St. PetersburgFive years later, Onegin, who fled Russia after the duel, returns to the imperial capital and attends a ball. He reflects on the emptiness of his life and his remorse for killing Lensky. Prince Gremin, Onegin’s wealthy older relative, enters and introduces his wife. Onegin is astonished to see that the Prince has married Tatyana. Tatyana is also surprised to see Onegin, but tries to suppress her emotion. Dazzled by Tatyana’s beauty and nobility, Onegin realizes that he is now in love with her. He decides to write to her to arrange a meeting.

A Few Weeks LaterOnegin’s letter has disturbed Tatyana by stirring up the emotions she once felt for him. Onegin arrives; Tatyana asks why he is pursuing her now. Is it because she is no longer a simple girl from the country, but a lady of high and fashionable society? Onegin tells her his love is genuine and begs her to run away with him. Brought to tears by his plea, Tatyana admits that she still loves him, but explains that their union will never be. Onegin implores her. Tatyana is determined to remain faithful to her husband. Tatyana bids Onegin farewell forever. Alone, ashamed, and despairing, Onegin rails against his fate.

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Cast

John Moore

Eugene Onegin

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Milford (Okoboji), IA
Seattle Opera Debut: Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro ('16) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Figaro, The Barber of Seville (’17); Papageno, The Magic Flute (’17); Steve Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19)
Recently: Frank Lloyd Wright, Shining Brow (Arizona Opera); Achilla, Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Glyndebourne Festival Opera House); Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Portland Opera) 
Upcoming: Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (New Zealand Opera) 

Last Updated: October 2019

Count, The Marriage of Figaro (New Zealand Opera) 

John Moore

Eugene Onegin

Jan. 11, 15, 19, & 25

Michael Adams

Eugene Onegin

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Belcore, The Elixir of Love

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Seattle Opera Debut: Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (’18)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin ('20)
Recently: Zurga, The Pearl Fishers (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Papageno, The Magic Flute (Washington National Opera); Masetto, Don Giovanni (Grand-Theatre de Geneve)
Upcoming: Maximilian, Candide (Grand-Théâtre de Genève); Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Omaha, Madison Opera)

Last Updated: August 2020

Michael Adams

Eugene Onegin

Jan. 12, 18, 22, & 24

Marjukka Tepponen

Tatyana

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Tatyana, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Seattle Opera Debut: Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (’18)
Recently: Mona, Ice (Finnish National Opera); Woglinde, Das Rheingold (Finnish National Opera); Mimí, La bohème (Rijeka National Opera)
Upcoming: Mimí, La bohème (Jyväskylä Opera); Micaela, Carmen (Tampere Opera); Violetta Valery, La traviata (Savonlinna Opera Festival)

Last Updated: October 2019

Marjukka Tepponen

Tatyana

Jan. 11, 15, 19, & 25

Marina Costa-Jackson

Tatyana

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Tatyana, Eugene Onegin and Three Singing Sisters

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Seattle Opera Debut: Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (’18)
Recently: Desdemona, Otello (Savonlinna Opera Festival); Elisabetta, Don Carlo (Grange Park Opera); Mimi, La bohème (LA Opera)
Upcoming: Amelia, Simon Boccanegra (Washington Concert Opera); Giulietta, Tales of Hoffman (Covent Garden); Mimi, La bohème (Opera National de Paris)

Last Updated: November 2019

Marina Costa-Jackson

Tatyana

Jan. 12, 18, 22, & 24

Colin Ainsworth

Lensky

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Lensky, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Brooklin, ON
Seattle Opera Debut: Steersman, The Flying Dutchman (’16)
Recently: Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Opera Atelier Toronto); Alfredo, La Traviata (Pacific Opera Victoria); Soloist, Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet (Oregon Bach Festival)
Upcoming: Tamino, The Magic Flute (Opera Atelier); Soloist, Bach's St. John and St. Matthew Passions (Oregon Bach Festival)

Last Updated: December 2019

Colin Ainsworth

Lensky

Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

Melody Wilson

Olga

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Olga, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Newark, DE
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Fenena, Nabucco (Union Avenue Opera); Flower Maiden, Mondparsifal Alpha (Wiener Festwochen and Berliner Festspiele); Addie, Regina (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); Maddalena, Rigoletto (Hungarian State Opera)
Upcoming: Sanctuary Road (Oakland Symphony); Sanctuary Road (Chautauqua Symphony)

Last Updated: November 2019

Melody Wilson

Olga

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

Meredith Arwady

Filipevna

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Filipevna, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:
 Madame Flora, The Medium (Oper Frankfurt); Filipevna, Eugene Onegin (Atlanta Opera); Third Lady, The Magic Flute (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming:
 Kathy Hagen, Champion (Michigan Opera Theatre)

Last Updated: December 2019

Meredith Arwady

Filipevna

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

Margaret Gawrysiak

Madame Larina

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Madame Larina, Eugene Onegin
At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Older Woman, Flight

Hometown: Geneseo, IL
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2007/08; 2008/09
Seattle Opera Debut: Vera Boronel, The Consul (’14)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Berta, The Barber of Seville (’17); Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro (’16)
Recently: Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Colorado); Old Lady, Candide (Tanglewood/Ravinia Festival); Madame Larina, Eugene Onegin (Atlanta Opera)
Upcoming: Berta, The Barber of Seville (Dallas Opera)

Last Updated: December 2019

Margaret Gawrysiak

Madame Larina

Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

David Leigh

Prince Gremin

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Prince Gremin, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: New York City, NY
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:
 Timur, Turandot (Canadian Opera Company); Colline, La bohème (Bolshoi Theatre); Zuniga, Carmen (San Francisco Opera)
Upcoming: King Marke, Tristan und Isolde (Santa Fe Opera), The Monk, Don Carlo (Dallas Opera), Timur, Turandot (Austin Lyric Opera)

Last Updated: October 2019

David Leigh

Prince Gremin

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

Martin Bakari

Monsieur Triquet

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Monsieur Triquet, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Yellow Springs, OH
Seattle Opera Debut: Peter the Honeyman, Porgy and Bess (’18)
Recently: Charlie Parker, Charlie Parker's Yardbird (Atlanta Opera and Arizona Opera); The Visitor, In the Penal Colony (Portland Opera); Genji, Murasaki's Moon (On Site Opera/Metropolitan Museum of Art) 
Upcoming: Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Syracuse Opera); Tenor soloist, Carmina Burana (Carnegie Hall); Dr. Blind, Die Fledermaus (Fort Worth Opera)

Last Updated: October 2019

 

Martin Bakari

Monsieur Triquet

Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

Misha (Michael) Myznikov

Zaretsky/A Captain

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Zaretsky/A Captain, Eugene Onegin 

Birthplace: Russkie-Borisy, Azerbaijan
Seattle Opera Chorus member since 1993
Seattle Opera Debut: Guillot, Eugene Onegin (’02)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Hermann, The Tales of Hoffmann (14)
Recently: Junius, The Rape of Lucretia, Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin, Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro (Tacoma Opera)
Upcoming: Silvio, Pagliacci (Northwest Lyric Opera); Soloist, Messiah (Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center); Rachmaninoff's songs (Northwest Edvard Grieg Society)

Last updated: October 2019

Misha (Michael) Myznikov

Zaretsky/A Captain

Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, & 25

Cast

Creative Team

Aleksandar Marković

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Vienna, Austria
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Der Rosenkavalier (Opera North); Jenůfa (Opera North); Rienzi, der letzte der Tribunen (Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munchen)
Upcoming: Elektra (Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana)

Last Updated: December 2019

Aleksandar Marković

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Tomer Zvulun

Original Production Director

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel
Seattle Opera Debut: Lucia di Lammermoor (’10)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Semele (’15); La bohème (’13)
Recently: Silent Night (Washington National Opera); Dinner at Eight (Wexford Festival Opera); Der Fliegende Hollaender and Ri