Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

by: Alexander Campbell

On Madame Larina’s country estate the bookish Tatyana meets Eugene Onegin, friend of the poet Lensky. Infatuated, Tatyana writes Onegin an effusive love-letter overnight which he returns, coolly admonishing her naïve lack of self-restraint. At Tatyana’s name-day celebrations Onegin flirts with her sister Olga, provoking Lensky. Pride preventing their reconciliation Onegin kills Lensky in a duel. Years later in St Petersburg Onegin encounters Tatyana, now a celebrated society beauty. Confessing love for her by letter Onegin then visits Tatyana. Although loving him still she tearfully rejects him, resolving to remain faithful to her elderly husband Prince Gremin. Onegin is desperate.

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