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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Onegin, with Chekhovian overtones
This production from the Metropolitan Opera must stand as at least the equal of the earlier Robert Carsen Met production with Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky released on DVD a few years ago. In my opinion this new production is superior by a nose, although I could not be without either.

The production is directed by Deborah Warner, with later assistance...
Published 2 months ago by Sackerson

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice but not so stunning
The first part of the story is left outside how Onegin gets to the countryside after his uncle died. The opera begins with Larina and she is listening to her girls Olga and Tatyana. Onegin is introduced by Lenskij. Tatyana falls immediate in love with him. He rejects her love and kills Lenskij in a duel after the party of her Saints day. Time pass and Onegin finds her...
Published 1 month ago by Bernd Kotz


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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Onegin, with Chekhovian overtones, 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: Eugene Onegin: Metropolitan Opera (Gergiev) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
This production from the Metropolitan Opera must stand as at least the equal of the earlier Robert Carsen Met production with Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky released on DVD a few years ago. In my opinion this new production is superior by a nose, although I could not be without either.

The production is directed by Deborah Warner, with later assistance from Fiona Shaw, and their experience with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain enriches and enlivens the theatricality of the piece. In the first act particularly the setting - which is in the summer house of the Larin estate - suggests a Chekhov play: the playing area is wide and shallow, with the upstage area seen only dimly through windows or an open door, and the lighting is at once suggestive of autumn sunshine filtering through trees through the windows and an enclosed, even slightly oppressive, interior. The blocking for the characters is shapely and intelligent, and the story line flows through their movements in this space as much as through what they are singing. It is brilliantly conceived. Whereas the earlier production with Fleming and Hvorostovsky was essentially impressionistic, with an open stage covered with autumn leaves for this section, and an inserted prop set into the same setting for Tatiana's bedroom in the letter scene, Warner's production grounds the characters in their lives, and in the manners of the Russian upper classes of the time.

It is of course the music which carries the day, and there is no question that this cast is superlative in every respect. Tatiana in Netrebko's interpretation is not so socially poised as Fleming's, more at odds with herself, and somewhat chafed at the small circumference of her life. Netrebko's voice has darkened and carries a richness which has been approaching over the past two or three years, but which has come in this production to its proper place, but this is a rounded and living performance, passionate, serene, fiery, and resigned by turns. Tatiana can be sung as a lyric soprano role, almost indeed as a soubrette in places in this first act, recalling that Tchaikovsky wrote this opera for students to perform - if one can believe it! - but there is certainly equal justification for Netrebko's performance here, with Tatiana moving into her maturity, yet still holding her sense of the possibility of romance in life she finds in the books she loves.

Marius Kwecien as Onegin is stunning, less imperious and more impulsive than Hvorostovsky, but with a youthful vigour in the voice, unlike Hvorostovsky's dark and sophisticated timbre. Larissa Diadkhova as Filippievna is ingratiating, with a rich contralto, and mezzo-soprano Elena Zaremba (who played Olga in the earlier production opposite Fleming) gives Madame Larina real substance and presence as their mother. Oksana Volkova, as Olga, is bright as a cricket in the first act - so bright in fact that in her teasing of Tatiana one might feel impelled to give her a slap - and believably stricken and mystified by Lensky's stubborn jealousy which leads to his death later in the opera. Piotr Beczala's beautifully ardent tenor and his convincing acting are perfect for Lensky, and somewhat superior to the lovely singing but slightly stodgy acting of Ramon Vargas in the earlier production.

There are many unforgettable moments, but the two scenes which completely enthrall are the two most private ones between Tatiana and Onegin, in the first part of the opera when Onegin returns her letter, and in the last scene when he is rejected. Indeed, the last five minutes of this production are among the most breathtaking moments, both musically and theatrically, I have ever seen on an operatic stage.

There are two slight flaws: the use of rifles rather than pistols for the duel seems drastic; after all, pistols might misfire or miss, but with rifles the outcome can't be hoped away. Alexei Tanovitski, who sings Prince Gremin in the last scene but one, is very pleasing in his character but somewhat woolly of voice; Sergei Aleksashkin in the earlier version is superior there. But these are small points, and neither of them is more than a quibble. I make them here as much to avoid the charge of being completely starstruck as for any other reason.

All of this richness would go for nothing were the orchestra wanting, but Valery Gergiev's conducting is masterly. Some early reviews suggested his accompaniment was somewhat slack, but if that were true it had come to itself by the time this performance was filmed. Gergiev's accompaniment is always flexible and responsive to the moment; this is neither waywardness nor lack of control, but the sign of a living interpretation. The urgency and pungency of his conducting, matched by his keen attention to orchestral and motivic detail, and the singing line he accords the lyricism of the score, are superior here even to his wonderful performance in the earlier Met production.

If you love the opera - and it bewilders me that there are some people who have seen it and do not - buy both this and the earlier production as well. If the budget will not stretch, then this is the first recommendation for any DVD of Eugene Onegin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Met. New York versus London Coliseum, 12 April 2014
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J. Hansen "roma95" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed a performance of this shared production when first given by English National Opera. It was a stellar cast but I still prefer my opera in the original language.

I was very excited therefore when the Met released a performance on Blu-ray, especially as I love Anna Netrebko, both vocally and visually. I wasn't disappointed and enjoyed her interpretation of the role of Tatiana. The other principles were in good form also and it was a bonus to have Gergiev conducting.

I highly recommend this recording to anyone who loves this opera.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best recordings of Eugene Onegin., 5 April 2014
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Great production and top rate cast in fine voice.the Met always have performers who are top notch.I have recommended to my opera loving friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb production, 3 April 2014
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This review is from: Eugene Onegin: Metropolitan Opera (Gergiev) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
A first class performance throughout with a final scene that breaks one's heart. Never before have I seen such a convincing stage kiss!
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance from the Met., 7 Feb 2014
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Anna Netrebko hit the international operatic scene with that abominable production of La Traviata from Salzburg. She has been singing many Italian roles, ever since, performing better in the Bel Canto roles than in anything more dramatic, as she is blessed with an incredible voice, but seemed to lack style, in my opinion due to bad direction on the part of many of her producers. Now at last she is singing in her own language in a role she obviously understands well. The result is astounding. She is simply superb, far better than in any of her previous roles.
The rest of the cast is excellent. I have always had reservations for Gergiev's conducting. He is better than usual here but not as inspiring as some of the some of the old great Russian conductors.
I am basing this review on the "Met live" performance, but I imagine the blu ray transfer will be top quality as usual.
I strongly recommend this performance to anyone who likes this opera.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice but not so stunning, 16 Mar 2014
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Bernd Kotz (Essen, Germany) - See all my reviews
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The first part of the story is left outside how Onegin gets to the countryside after his uncle died. The opera begins with Larina and she is listening to her girls Olga and Tatyana. Onegin is introduced by Lenskij. Tatyana falls immediate in love with him. He rejects her love and kills Lenskij in a duel after the party of her Saints day. Time pass and Onegin finds her well educated. The story turn inside out and Onegin is the one with strong love and passion but Tatyana rejects him as he did early on. The kiss is a little bit dramatic in the end. It is a lyrical opera and Tchaikovsky transformed the book by Pushkin very well. The opera is traditionally performed and the pictures are beautiful. I like the orchestral part very much. The actors interpreted the characters in their own way and the opera is very well played. Anna Netrebko sings the letter scene very well and the final scene is good.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eugene Onegin, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Eugene Onegin: Metropolitan Opera (Gergiev) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
This is an outstanding version, not only do the pricipal singers perform very well but the orchestra under Gergiev is also splendid. I particuarly liked Anna Netrebko's dazzling performance. The best Onegin I've seen or heard. Only one minor critism: the use of rifles in the duel in act 2?
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16 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Opera Fail., 26 Jan 2014
Very bad production of great russian opera. Awful orchestra, staging and singing. Shame to Met. There are so many other better productions from this opera house to be relised... And it's not Onegin.
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1 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a very big flop, 28 Feb 2014
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netrebko produces the notes but plays without any interest - the most overestimated singer of our time! all the rest you can forget.
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