Opera Holland Park – Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky
Eugene Onegin

Onegin – Mark Stone
Tatyana – Camilla Roberts
Lensky – Peter Wedd
Olga – Victoria Simmonds
Larina – Sarah Pring
Gremin – Graeme Broadbent
Filippyevna – Menai Davies
Triquet – Tyrone Landau
Zaretsky – Nicholas Todorovic

Opera Holland Park Chorus

City of London Sinfonia
Stuart Stratford

Tom Hawkes – Director
Peter Rice – Designer
Colin Grenfell – Lighting designer
Jenny Weston – Choreographer


Reviewed by: Paul Hutchinson

Reviewed: 21 July, 2005
Venue: Opera Holland Park, London

Peter Rice’s handsome, simple set is just the first of the many joys of this excellent production of Tchaikovsky’s ‘lyrical scenes‘. It encompasses and complements the action in a way rarely experienced.

The singing from the excellent Opera Holland Park Chorus is, yet again, truly outstanding; a real ensemble. Nor is it just the singing. They dance well, too! Mazurka and Polonaise are all executed with proper style. Stuart Stratford had the full measure of the score and his fluent conducting drew the right kind of playing from the orchestra.

Camilla Roberts’s does not quite capture Tatyana’s character – yet – but later performances may develop. As yet, she is too attentive to her surroundings – almost waiting to be asked to join in. Whereas she really is somebody on the outside: her love-lorn character is of adolescent single-mindedness. However, there is much to enjoy. Not least Roberts’s singing. Her delineation of the emotional variation in the ‘Letter Scene’ is total as well as touching. Her transformation from the hurt of her encounter with Onegin is managed well, and her final defence of her status as she admits that she still loves Onegin was moving.

Mark Stone made a truly convincing Onegin. Strong-voiced and with just the right kind of aloofness. Tchaikovsky loathed him for his actions, but still gave him a convincing lyricism in his rejection of Tatyana. His horror at Lensky’s corpse was almost palpable. As was his frustration at Tatyana’s departing as he pleads with her to come away with him.

Peter Wedd’s Lensky conveyed the appropriate naivete and innocence as Olga’s suitor. His farewell to life in his (inspired) aria in the dual-scene (superb atmospheric lighting) was most beautifully sung, and he displayed himself as a true friend to the cad Onegin.

Graeme Broadbent was a sound Gremin, thoroughly believable in such a comparatively small role, sing his paean to love with great line and sonority. The rest of the cast filled their roles more than ably. A superb Filippyevna from Menai Davies, Sarah Pring’s Larina convincing in her recollection of her life, and Victoria Simmonds is a strong, vocally handsome Olga, Tatyana’s sister.Monsieur Triquet is usually given to a veteran singer; Tyrone Landau is young, handsome and slim. This somewhat detracted from the character, though, but he delivered his lines to Tatyana well enough.



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