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PARIS: In Stefan Herheims regi of Eugene Onegin in Amsterdam Onegin is really the titelroleholder, Bo Boje Skovhus, as he is present on stage a lot of the time, even, when he is only thought about, speaking about or been writing to,  as for exempel in Tatjanas letter scene, where he is reading her letterand replying on it in writing when she sings it. This gives an unexpected affect, but it works very well.

Review from Mezzo live HD by Henning Høholt

Bo Skovhus as Eugene Onegin (center), Amsterdam.. Photo Forster

Stefan Herheim commencement of Eugene Onegin in Amsterdam with the title role holder, played and sung by the outstanding Danish baryton Bo Boje Skovhus, in retrospect, experiencing the story accompanied by important parts of the music, which is formed like an overture.

Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach is as often in the connection with Stefan Herheim responsible for the dramaturgie. This cooperation is working well.

From Eugene Onegin in Amsterdam. Bo Skovhus in the Titelrole. Photo: Forster

Eugene Onegin is also already present in the first pictures and find Tatjana and Olga’sinitial duet, and mother and Filipievna´s quartet with them, and that farmers arrival and autumn celebration with song and dance, while also includes guest from Prince Gremins bal in the third act of participating and he is with and participate in the dance. An interesting approach, but when you eventually are used to Stefan Herheim lively Fantasy, it works quit understandable and feels right.

Although I am in the first act missing “peasant romanticism” “from the Russian countryside,even though farmers are acting in their national style costumes, but before EugenOnegin and Lenskijs official entrance in the history we have come back in history,as we well basically used to it.

In Tatjanas letter scene, Krassimira Stoyanova is doing it wonderful, and with her Onegin in the stage , like she is singing the letter to him, it is being a fantastic experience, he is like a secretary writing Tatjanas letter to him self, and just running out of the scene just before the aria is ending. WOW.  However it needs an Onegin who is also a good actor together with a good regissør who know how to form this, and a singer (and actor) who can play the role, in this Skovhus as Onegin and Herheimas the instructor is perfect.

Andrej Dunaev as Lenskij, Bo Skovhus as Onegin and Elena Maximova as Olga. Photo Forster

When Onegin returns to reply for the letter, Herheim is letting a young actress appear as Tatjana, when the real Tatjana, Stoyanova, in her last act outfit is watching their appearance, as she is now the one looking backwords and remembering her self as young and innocent. And the Prince Gremin is entering leading her back to the last act party.

Onegin, in the center, Guy de Mey as Monsieur Triquet. Photo: Forster

Tatjanas birthday party is opened with a Russian bear on stage, but after the introduction tunes we are at the big ball. Where Onegin doesn´t feel at home, as every body is looking at him and speaking about him as Tatjanas fiancée. Then he deside to irritate Lenskij by flirting and dancing with Lenskijs girlfriend Olga. But during Monsieur Triquets (Guy de Mey)  gratulation sung to Tatjana, Onegin is trying to stretch out a hand to Lenskij, like to tell him, taht I am only joking, byt Lenskij has been jalous, and refuses to take Onegins hand.

The duel scene follows, surronded by people, and Onegin is again attending and trying to square oup with Lenskij, wo again refuses it

The Polonaise opening of the last act is showing Omlympic acrobats, and the Prince from Swan Lake enters with both the Blanck and the White Swan, but the Prince is make courting  to Onegin,  and folcloristic  dancing detalis and costumes. When Tatjana and Prince Gremin (Mikhail Petrenko) enters the Prince Gremin is in Uniform and Tatjana a beatiful imperial outfit with diadem. Petrenko performs Prince Gremins famous aria in a splendid way. But honestly i prefer a voice with an even deeper sound in that special demanding aria.

Krassimira Stoyanova as Tatjana and Bo Skovhus as Onegin in the letter scene! Photo: Forster

Elena Maximova (Olga) has a very beautiful voice, and Krassimira Stoyanova (Tatiana) and Andrej Dunaev (Lenski) are both wonderful.

The scenographcs solution by Philipp Fürhofer is working, and is i one way ok. But it is not the best scenographic solution that I have seen.

The costumes by Gesine Völlm are not good, but they are in a way following up the wishes in the ideas for the production. But it is a mixture of fantasifull combinations of different periodes, folcloristic, Empire, uniforms from different periodes, evening dresses and outfits. Sometimes I am feeling the costumes are too much, and not really tastefully. In other productions from other Stefan Herheim team, that I have seen, the scenography and costumes has been more successfully than this. The read dress for Tatjana, that she is using a lot of times during this production was not nice. Many of the others she wear is much better.

Why the production is good is because of the outstanding cast, and the wonderful singers, headed by Bo Skovhus. Furthermore the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Operachoir is playing and singing absolutely wonderful and the musically leadership is in the best hands by Mariss Jansons.

Eugène Onéguine, by Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Koor van De Nederlandse Opera
Mariss Jansons (direction), Stefan Herheim (mise en scène),

Krassimira Stoyanova (Tatiana),

Elena Maximova (Olga),

Nina Romanova (Filipievna),

Olga Savova (Madame Larina)

Andrej Dunaev (Lenski),

Bo Skovhus (Eugène Onéguine),

Mikhail Petrenko (Gremine), Guy de Mey (Monsieur Triquet), Roger Smeets (Zaretsky), Peter Arink (Petrovich), Richard Prada (Zapevalo).

ConductorMariss Jansons.  Regie: Stefan Herheim. Decor: Philipp Fürhofer. Costumes: Gesine Völlm. Light: Olaf Freese. Dramaturgie: Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach. 

Enregistré au Het Muziektheater d’Amsterdam le 23 juin 2011 – 2h30
TV regi by Misjel Vermeiren

Permit me in this special connecting to remember experiences that I personally have had with the opera Eugène Onéguine:

The world famuus russian soprano Galina Wishnevskaya made her debut at the Opera de Paris, Palace Garnier as Tatjana. Many years later she had her goodbye there also as Tatjana. This evening was conducted by Genadij Rostropowich, her husband, and was send in TV. The Danish Queen Ingrid and her daughter Princess Benedikte attended the peformance and was welcomed by the operaentrance by mr Rostropowich who followed them to their seat at the first Balcony range. After that he came out from there, and came directly to me and asked. “Please, could you help me to find the door to go behind stage?”  “With pleasure mr. Rostropowich” I replyed, and I assisted him to the stage door.

My first Onegin was with the outstanding mezzosoprano Edith Thallaug as Tatjana  around 1980 at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo, she was then the big mezzo soprano at the Stockholm opera.

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