Leo Warner (59)
With animation by
Lawrence Watson (59)
Royal Opera House
Covent Garden Opera House, February 2013
Continuing a long collaboration with the Royal Opera company, 59 productions were invited to collaborate on new artistic director Kasper Holten's Covent Garden debut. Using mapped projection to augment and interact with designer Mia Stensgaard's beautiful sets, the use of carefully placed video effects will help the production blur the line between dreams and reality in this exciting new interpretation of this classic Russian master-work.
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s best-loved opera is based on Alexander Pushkin’s verse drama of the same name. It provided Tchaikovsky with an opportunity to present everyday and authentic experiences on the stage, in contrast to the epic narratives that characterized much European opera of the time. Eugene Onegin quickly became a firm favourite with Russian audiences. Within a decade of its 1879 premiere it had been performed over one hundred times in St Petersburg.
Tchaikovsky’s deep sympathy for his heroine Tatyana is shown in the tenderness of her music. Her yearning string motif opens the opera and it gains full expression in her letter aria in Act I – one of the most intense solo scenes ever written for the soprano voice. In Kasper Holten’s powerful new production, the turbulence of Tatyana and Onegin’s youth is contrasted with the self-realization they gain in later life. The staging foregrounds the power of memory and the often futile longing to undo past mistakes that comes with experience.
For more information please visit the production page on the Royal Opera House web site.
Trees the colour of blood oranges, black georgette ballroom gowns rippling as if cast from jelly moulds, a snow scene whipped and blurred as you might see from a train crossing the Steppes: the Royal Opera House's new Eugene Onegin, conducted by Robin Ticciati, directed by Kasper Holten and designed by Mia Stensgaard, looks magnificent
... the cumulative effect of the staging is intense and both seen and felt in Tchaikovsky’s shattering final scene where the fateful couple’s younger selves rush into the room, the heat of their passion so near and yet so far, the reality of what they might have had suddenly so close that it’s once again palpable...
Mia Stensgaard’s set (enhanced by Leo Warner’s video designs which bring nature into our midst) undergoes dramatic transformation in the shift to St. Petersburg. A succession of huge rooms recede where once were fields. The arrival of Prince Gremin (the excellent Peter Rose) into the midst of the final Tatyana/Onegin confrontation is Holten’s final coup de grace. Tatyana is locked into the compromise of a loveless marriage. Passion, as forever enshrined in Onegin, is locked out
the unforced articulation of every feeling goes straight to the truthfulness at the heart of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. Holten’s team of singing actors is equal to the challenge; Robin Ticciati’s conducting and Wolfgang Göbbel's lighting of Mia Stensgaard’s clever, singer-helpful set follow the fluctuations with painstaking sensitivity