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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Experience, 20 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Yevgeny Onyegin [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I went for this production given the somewhat dubious reviews the various other options available on Amazon were. It was a bit risky, but it paid off well.

Yes, another reviewer is correct that not all the performances are perfect, but I think all the important characters came off well, and Onegin seemed absolutely perfect for the role. The production is very much in period - and in excellent style. I don't tend to like modern interpretations, so I am very pleased by this, but if that is your thing you may need to go elsewhere. The singing does not fail, Pushkin's brilliant writing comes through in the plot and of course Tchaikovsky's composition is characteristically excellent, gushing forth with memorable melodies with a seemingly effortless ease!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect but all-round recommendation, 9 April 2009
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This review is from: Yevgeny Onyegin [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Good voices, conducting by Andrew Davis, playing, sound and picture. Elena Prokina as Tatyana is an excellent actress. It is quite a shock to hear Onegin in Act 3 singing that he is 26 (as in Pushkin's poem). One expects an older, sauve man of the world. Wojciech Drabowicz looks decidedly immature in Act 1, more like Bertie Wooster. ("I say jolly flattered and all that but I'm not the right cove for you don't you know.") By Act 3 he has acquired considerable gravitas so the final confrontation with Tatyana is very moving.
There is strong competition from the Met DVD with Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The voices in that performance are just a little more impressive.
Fleming is a poor actress. (Her facial expressions always strike me as silly rather than dramatic.) Hvorostovsky looks every inch the debonair, world-weary man of experience. (He was 45 at the time of the performance.) Unfortunately he cannot modify his cold facial expression sufficiently to portray a man in the grip of an overwhelming passion. So the final confrontation is visually unconvincing.
The conducting by Valery Gergiev is slightly more dramatic here and there. The Met sound is drier and Harsher than the comfortable Glyndebourne sound. (The latter does however need above average amplification to bring out its virtues.) On the other hand the Met picture has the advantage of 2007 technology.
Most traditional operas are not suitable for minimalism. Forget jaded professional critics who praise to the skies the novel no matter how inappropriate, the average opera lover expects lavish scenery, the more lavish the better. Both stagings are minimalist, that at Glyndebourne being less stark and not having a litter of leaves in some scenes.
Overall I prefer the Glyndebourne performance.
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Yevgeny Onyegin [DVD] [2011]
Yevgeny Onyegin [DVD] [2011] by Glyndebourne Festival Opera (DVD - 2005)
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