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Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin - 28 January 2017, Florida Grand Opera, 7:00 pm 

This was a totally new opera for me and my first Tchaikovsky opera.  I felt it was excellent and very well done by Florida Grand Opera.  The opera starts slowly in Act I - building the story.  By the time you are in Act II, your interest is grabbed and you are hooked to see the outcome.

In essence, Lensky is engaged to Olga.  He brings his friend Eugene Onegin to a party where Olga’s sister Tatyana is smitten with Onegin.  He gently, but firmly rejects her telling her he is not marriage material.  

Later, Onegin decides to make Lensky jealous by flirting with Olga.  This gets out of hand and Onegin and Lensky duel with Onegin killing his friend.

Many years later, Onegin, who has traveled the world trying to forget killing his friend, appears at a party thrown by Prince Gremin.  He sees Tatayana (now the prince’s wife) and immediately recognizes he is deeply in love with her.  He begs her to leave her husband the prince.  She refuses.  The opera ends.

Kuznetsova and Coutney Miller (Tatyana and Olga) sing a duet at the beginning that was one of the best I’ve heard in opera.  They were outstanding.  I didn’t warm too much to Onegin’s voice (Pomponi) but I did enjoy John Brancy as Lensky.  

The chorus was unusually good and even the set design, although still minimalistic, was good.  The choreography was much better.  

Image from Florida Grand Opera’s website.

© Fred Searcy 2017