2003-02-22 Eugen Onegin (P. Tsjaikovskij), Hamburgische Staatsoper

Larina = Renate Springler
Tatiana = Danielle Halbwachs
Olga = Elena Zhidkova
Filipjewna = Katja Pieweck
Eugen Onegin = Jean-Luc Chaignaud
Vladimir Lenski = Piotr Beczala
Fürst Gremin = Simon Yang
Saretzki =  Jörn Schümann
Triquet = Frieder Stricker

Friedemann Layer, conductor

Inszenierung - Adolf Dresen
Bühnenbild - Karl-Ernst Herrmann
Kostüme - Margit Bárdy
Choreographieb - Rolf Warter
Chor - Florian Csizmadia
Two sisters Tatiana and Olga fitted well together. But it was somewhat unusual to see Olga as the little, thin one, and Tatiana as well-gown, big young woman, at least when Olga being so small and thin. Tatiana the romantic heroine, and Olga the more earthly and happy little sister. But voice comes first, so when you get used to the figures, it works well. Wonderful voices. Really amazing how big a voice Olga had, to be so small in figure. 

More troublesome to accept Tatiana, but you know it is like in real life, you can never tell from the outside of people who's the romantic and who's not. But in opera, like all art, we like to be a little challenges about our ideas, but not too much. I think if the production had been new, and with a director, everything would have been MUCH better.

Piotr Beczala as Lenski, was much better then this ONEGIN. Already I had some trouble believing in this Tatiana is the big Danielle Halbwachs, but with Jean-Luc Chaignaud as Eugen Onegin, I could not believe that Tatiana would fall in love with Onegin. As I started to accept this Tatiana, I could not BELIEVE that SHE would fall in love in this very unsympathetic Onegin. The harsh-voiced Frenchman being to a degree selfish, and totally unable to create any sympathetic reaction from people around him. Onegin should be like Don Giovanni, a man who does make woman fall in love, and men wanting to be him. A beautiful voice or a manner in walking / standing could have done that, but utterly boring persona, no.

Prince Gremin (Fürst Gremin), was sung by the Korean Bass Simon Yang. Very good, but when you have heard it sung better before, you know, it was not quite at the top. The aria where Gremin declares his love for Tatiana, is one of the big and greatest aria in all opera literature.

Then it was subtitled. Subtitles are serious and a difficult business, here the text did not repeat what the singers sung, and that did make it a little bit more difficult to GET IT. But the most terrible mistake, was the last sentence, it said something like, and this is my destiny. But Eugen Onegin last words are more: "Life is destroying me", this is a remark that can go into our very soul. Thanks to the subtitling, the end of Onegin did not have any impact on me.  Had Jean-Luc Chaignaud really been able to transmit Eugen Onegin to the audience, it would have been a real shuttering experience.

GREAT opera,  but it needs an EUGEN ONEGIN!!

This page was last updated: June 20, 2022