Bath Opera’s main production of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ took place from 24th to 26th February 2022 to great reviews and to sell-out audiences on two of the three nights.
Tatiana – Anna Fitzgerald
Onegin – Ambrose Connolly
Olga – Angharad Davies
Lensky – Daniel Gray Bell
Larina – Rebecca Chellapah
Filipevna – Judith Davis
Gremin – Rod Hunt/John DesLauriers ( split role)
Msr Triquet – Alfonso Camassa
Captain /Saretsky – Peter Sutton
Gillot – Edward Harper
Bath Opera productions always have a large, strong chorus as its core. Our repertoire is picked to show off their impressive talents. Eugene Onegin is an extraordinarily varied opera in that on the one hand it does indeed contain large thrilling choruses in which our chorus has to play a number of different roles and sing in different styles from Cossack peasants to aristocracy. For this production this year their numbers are swelled further by dancers for the large spectacular Ball scenes.
On the other hand it contains one of the longest solo scenes in any opera – the famous letter scene. So the audience is taken on a roller coaster ride: one minute large scale excitement and the next exquisitely subtle intimacy all propelled by the misunderstood and frustrated passions of four young would-be lovers leading to the poignant duel where the two young men – scarcely more than boys – back themselves into a corner from which one cannot return.
Tchaikovsky of course had a rather frustrated and troubled love life of his own * and this understanding shines through in the searing passions of the music. The orchestral writing is breathtaking and of course no-one writes a better foot tapping dance tune than Tchaikovsky: the famous Waltz and Polonaise are staple favourites of the concert platform but how much better in context and with dancers.
Eugene Onegin is considered by many to be the most perfectly formed Opera and their personal favourite, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to perform it. It also gives Bath Opera the perfect platform to fulfil one of its objectives of giving opportunities to young singers. The four principal roles demand a phenomenal vocal technique and stamina and we are hugely fortunate to have found four outstanding young singers who are willing to take on the challenge in order to get these big role on their CVs as they head out to audition for the opera houses of the world .
And what a rare delight for an opera audience to enjoy sublime singing without having to ignore the fact that the person on stage is far too old to be credible for the role he or she is playing !
So this is truly the opera which has got the lot – great orchestra, dancers, fabulous music, thrilling choruses, beautiful moving arias, lavish costumes and imaginative staging. Eugene Onegin is such a great work of art that we are making no attempt to ‘play around’ with it or update it. We will set it around 1820 exactly as Tchaikovsky and Pushkin intended and sing it in English so that the audience can come on the journey with us.
* as a point of interest, in the Ken Russell film “Women in love” which tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s disastrous relationships our very own Peter Blackwood’s hands are to be seen playing Tchaikovsky’s hands at the piano!!
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Joining Bath Opera
New members are always welcome to join this friendly company. Bath Opera was delighted to win the Wilfred Roe Trophy for the best opera chorus singing in the South West. We already have a large number of dedicated choral singers, many of whom take solo parts as well.
Basic membership is just £15 for the year. A show fee is payable if in the main show (£75) and/or the summer tour (£35). Students benefit from a 50% reduction in all fees. Please apply for membership or further details to our secretary Pat Harper at email@example.com