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Eugene Onegin

Music by Peter IlyichTchaikovsky

Libretto by Konstantin Shilovsky after the verse novel by Aleksandr Pushkin

A tale of love set to a rich, passionate score.

Sung in Russian with projected English translations

University Opera Theatre

University Symphony Orchestra

Power Center

November 13 - 16, 2008


The Story: In the Russian countryside, a shy, young woman is struck with love at first sight for a handsome, melancholic aristocrat from the city whose only enjoyment comes from toying with other people’s emotions. When Tatyana ardently declares her love, Onegin cruelly dismisses it. Later at a ball, a bored Onegin flirts with her sister — to fatal consequences. Years later, when Onegin encounters a now radiant and sophisticated Tatyana, he realizes his missed opportunity. He tries to win her back and while she admits that she still loves him, she now has the power to weigh his own declaration of love. Will he win her back, or will she dismiss his attestation of love?

Artistic Significance: Professionally premiered at the Bolshoi Opera in 1881, Tchaikovsky’s operatic version of Aleksandr Pushkin’s beloved Russian novel would become his most famous opera. In setting the intimate and passionate story, Tchaikovsky created music of astonishing lyricism and psychological insight, which elegantly retained the narrative elements of Pushkin’s verse. From the vibrant folksongs of the countryside and the elegant polonaise of a St. Petersburg ball to Tatyana’s famous letter scene and the equally renowned Lenski’s aria, the lush score is full of soaring melodies. A classic of the opera repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s poignant opera of love, despair, and remorse is one of the best examples of the Romantic movement.



Nov. 13 & 15, 2008
Tatyana, daughter of Madam Larina Rhea Olivaccé
Olga, her sister Cynthian Brundage
Madame Larina, a widowed landowner Melody Wilson
Filipievna, the family’s old nurse Amanda Cantu
Vladmir Lensky, a poet Bernard D. Holcomb
Eugene Onegin, a friend of Lensky Wes Mason
Captain Trifnov, a guest of Madame Larina Joseph Roberts
Monsieur Triquet, an old friend of the Larina’s José García
Zaretsky, a retired officer Joseph Roberts
Prince Gremin Edward Hanlon

Nov. 14 & 16, 2008
Tatyana, daughter of Madam Larina Janai Brugger
Olga, her sister Monique Holmes
Madame Larina, a widowed landowner Kristin Eder
Filipievna, the family’s old nurse Jane Smith
Vladmir Lensky, a poet Juan Héctor Periera
Eugene Onegin, a friend of Lensky George Cornelius
Captain Trifnov, a guest of Madame Larina Brandon C. S. Hood
Monsieur Triquet, an old friend of the Larina’s Austin Stewart
Zaretsky, a retired officer Brandon C. S. Hood
Prince Gremin Jesse Enderle


Kathy Ball, Michael Bigelow, Joshua Borths, Anthony Bucci, Andrew Coniglio, Noel Franklin, Brad Goad, Margaret Grady, Brandon Grimes, Ali Hodges, Lauren Hood, Sarah Hucal, Yasas Jayawardena, Alex Kozak, Andrew Kurland, Heidi Madagame,Michael Madigan, Mary Martin, Catherine Nix, Sarah Paquet, Heather Quillen, Kelly Ritter, Elyse Smith, M. Davis Smith, Olivia Thompson, Nicholas Ward, Jeff Wilkinson


graphic for Eugene Onegin by Bill Burgard


Conductor Martin Katz
Director Joshua Major
Choreographer Linda Goodrich
Scenic Designer Gary Decker
Costume Designer Rachel Laritz
Lighting Designer Nancy Schertler
Wig & Makeup Designer Erin Lunsford
Stage Manager

Cassandra Flowers

Production Photos

Click here to view photos from Eugene Onegin


Click here to view the Onegin program

Additional Events

Eugene Onegin: a Russian masterpiece

Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008 3-4:30 PM

Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown

Richard LeSueur, retired music specialist at the Ann Arbor District Library, will discuss Tchaikovsky's great opera. The historical background of the opera as well as the plot will be the focus of the presentation. Musical examples will be played to highlight the great moments of this opera.


Symposium on Eugene Onegin: Professor Sofya Khagi, Dept. of Slavic Languages & Literatures, on Pushkin and his novel in verse and Professor John Wiley, SMTD Dept. of Musicology, on Tchaikovsky and his opera

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 5 PM 

Room 3308 Modern Languages Building

On the occastion of the U-M School of Music, Theatre, & Dance’s performance of Eugene Onegin, the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures presents an insightful presentation on Pushkin’s original work and Tchaikovsky’s operatic adaptation.

Media Sponsor

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower