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Ballet by John Neumeier
after "Eugene Onegin" by Alexander Pushkin

 

Music
  Lera Auerbach
A Commission by The Hamburg Ballet, the Hamburg State Opera and the
Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre
     
Choreography
Staging
Set
Costumes
  John Neumeier

 

A Coproduction with the
Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre

 

World Premiere
The Hamburg Ballet, Hamburg, Juni 29, 2014

 

Original Cast    
Tatiana Larina
  Hélène Bouchet
     
Eugene Onegin
  Edvin Revazov
     
Olga, Tatiana's Sister
  Leslie Heylmann
     
Vladimir Lensky
  Alexandr Trusch
     
Prince N.
  Carsten Jung

 

 

to be read before the performance

In choreographic episodes, combining dream, memory, premonition and reality John Neumeier's ballet "Tatiana" brings to life the story of Tatiana, a young girl brought up in the Russian countryside and her first great love. She communicates her passion spontaneously in a letter to Onegin – an impressive yet eccentric young man from the city, who clearly rejects her unconditional love. Years later, in mirror symmetry, Tatiana, already married, rejects Onegin's sudden ardent love. In his ballet, John Neumeier develops the narrative freely after Alexander Pushkin's verse-novel "Eugene Onegin", published in 1833. According to John Neumeier, "Tatiana is an outsider, a stranger within her own family. Possessing boundless imagination, she creates and lives much of her time in a world of dreams and phantasies inspired by the many novels she loves to read. Pushkin describes her as 'wild as a deer', a girl close to nature. The mundane, handsome Onegin, on the other hand, is neither hero nor demon. Both central characters possess a Shakespearean complexity. Onegin pursues his path through life without cliché but at the same time without obligation or commitment." Above all looms the premonition and memory of the duel. This tragic incident was instigated because of uncontrolled jealousy and enforced by an immovable code of honour. Onegin killed his friend Lensky, who was engaged to Olga, Tatiana's sister. He, who searched for purpose in his life, shot the friend who possessed it. Lensky's death haunts Onegin all his life. No burning desire inspiring his journey, no curiosity directing his drifting, Onegin's initial cynicism masks a feeling of emptiness and unfulfilled longing. Tatiana is quite different. Her lyrical disposition is not a symptom of a naïve mind but rather the expression of her power to give a shimmer of poetry to a prosaic world. Tatiana's unrequited love for Onegin reflects the dramatic destinies of the characters in her beloved novels but in reality her deep personal disappointment hastens her development as a woman. In the end it is she, who sends Onegin away, although still in love with him. During her final encounter with Onegin her reactions to his direct and passionate protestations of love are clearly articulated, at the same time woven through with moving observations about her own life. She remembers, for example, her "poor nurse's tomb" and constructs in her imagination an image of "the neglected garden" of her childhood. Then, unexpectedly, she says: "I love you (what's the use to hide behind deceit or double-dealing?)." She leaves Onegin in no doubt about her true feelings. According to Neumeier, Onegin does not, at any moment during the story, possess Tatiana's honest resolution and her ability to balance heartfelt emotions with rationality.

We are very happy that the Russian-American Lera Auerbach has accepted the commission to compose the original score for the ballet. John Neumeier has worked together with Ms. Auerbach on several occasions, most recently for his ballet "The Little Mermaid".

 

 

Synopsis

ACT 1

Prologue – Dreams in the shadow of a duel
Eugene Onegin is haunted by the memory of the duel in which he killed his friend Vladimir Lensky. Zaretsky, a figure of unalterable destiny, evokes this episode. Lensky is writing music, inspired by Olga, his fiancée. In the country, Olga's sister Tatiana lives much of her time in a dream world, surrounded by the figures from the romantic novels she loves to read.

Scene 1Onegin's day
Guillot, Onegin's servant, arrives in his bedroom with invitations for the day. In a park, Onegin has an encounter with a beautiful woman. Later, he is a guest at a ball. He visits the theatre to see the ballet "Cleopatra", danced by the famous ballerina Istomina. At home, a feeling of emptiness overcomes him. He receives the news that his uncle has died and that he has inherited his estate. He leaves for the country.

Scene 2Lensky and Onegin in the country
Onegin's elegant, eccentric appearance causes excitement in the country. Fascinated by the composer Lensky's passion, he befriends him.

Scene 3At the Larinas
Lensky takes his new friend with him to visit Madame Larina, Tatiana and Olga's mother. Onegin meets Tatiana. Fascinated, Tatiana is suddenly in love. Her nurse Filipjevna tries to quiet her.

Scene 4Tatiana's letter
Tatiana expresses her love in an emotional letter to Onegin. The memory of the characters from her novels seems to guide her pen. Before she falls asleep she sends the letter to Onegin.

Scene 5Tatiana's dream
Tatiana dreams of a beautiful winter landscape. A bear follows, frightens and finally protects her. Onegin appears as a vampire with a group of weird monsters. Tatiana is both attracted and terrified. Lensky and Olga arrive as a bridal couple. The vampire stabs Lensky.

Scene 6Tatiana's name day
Tatiana awakens at her name day celebration. Onegin arrives, gives her a book, lectures her on her indiscretion and rejects her love. Later he flirts with Olga. Intensely jealous, Lensky insults Onegin.

Scene 7The duel
Tatiana remembers the duel. Zaretsky forces the duel to its tragic conclusion. Onegin shoots – Lensky falls. The characters of Tatiana's novels seem like shattered dreams.

 

ACT 2

Interlude
Constantly on the move, Onegin searches for meaning and fulfilment in his life. The shadow of his friend Lensky haunts him. Tatiana visits Onegin's empty house and is fascinated by his books. Olga marries a handsome officer.

Scene 8A ball in St. Petersburg
Years later, Tatiana has married the wealthy Prince N. During a ball in St. Petersburg she unexpectedly encounters Onegin, who is suddenly in love with her. Tatiana remembers her earlier life: her deceased nurse Filipjevna and the romantic dream-image she had of Onegin.

Scene 9 Onegin's letters
Inspired by the memory of his friend Lensky, Onegin writes passionate letters to Tatiana.

Scene 10 The last meeting
Still in love with him, Tatiana reads Onegin's letters over and over again. He visits her. Tatiana admits to her love – but sends Onegin away.

 

 

 
 

 
Photos  Trailer

1 intermission
3 hours

Hamburg State Opera
November 11, 14, 20
2014
May 26
June 3, 4, 5, 6
July 2
2015

Calendar   Tickets

Prices
5,- to 97,- € (A)
4,- to 89,- € (B)
6,- to 158,- € (C)

 

 
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