[Met Performance] CID:176000
New production
Eugene Onegin {9} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/28/1957.

(Opening Night {73}
Rudolf Bing, General Manager
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 28, 1957
Opening Night {73}
In English
New production

Rudolf Bing, General Manager


EUGENE ONEGIN {9}
P. I. Tchaikovsky-P. I. Tchaikovsky/Shilovsky

Eugene Onegin...........George London
Tatiana.................Lucine Amara
Lensky..................Richard Tucker
Olga....................Rosalind Elias
Prince Gremin...........Giorgio Tozzi
Larina..................Martha Lipton
Filippyevna.............Belén Amparan
Triquet.................Alessio De Paolis
Captain.................Louis Sgarro
Zaretsky................George Cehanovsky

Conductor...............Dimitri Mitropoulos

Director................Peter Brook
Designer................Rolf Gérard
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov

Translation by Henry Reese

Eugene Onegin received seventeen performances this season.

Production a gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

[Four musical interludes, suggested by Mr. Mitropoulos and using themes from the opera,
were adapted and orchestrated by Julius Burger.]

Review of John Chapman in the New York Daily News

Metropolitan Opera Bows With An Uninspired 'Eugene Onegin'

The Metropolitan Opera began its season last evening with a newly mounted and costumed production of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin." It was the first offering of this work at the Met since 1920. It might just as well have been presented on the great stage of the Radio City Music Hall, begging the Music Hall's pardon.

"Eugene Onegin," based on a poem by Pushkin and done into an English-language libretto by Henry Reese, is about a maiden who falls in love with, but is spurned by, a sophisticated cad. She mends her wounded heart and sensibly weds a prince. Years later the cad turns up again and this time he wants her. A sensible girl by now, she tells him to go roll his hoop.

English Spoken?

The new production has some unimaginative settings by the usually imaginative Rolf Gerard. It has for its heroine Lucine Amara, a lady with a lovely voice who is not quite the type, physically, to have been pining away. It has for its cad George London, who looks like George Raft, acts like George Raft and sings like George London. Since London is one of the best of the Met's baritones, the singing is fine whenever he can get near a tune.

There always has to be a tenor in an opera, and this one is Richard Tucker, also one of the Met's best. Last evening he was the only one who made me believe he was singing in English. English is a recognizable tongue in our subways and homes, and maybe we should send the Metropolitan Opera to the Berlitz School to study it. The first class would be the chorus.

Generally Dull

"Eugene Onegin" is generally dull, but it is more interesting orchestrally than it is vocally. Last evening conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos kept his excellent orchestra right on the job, and his men managed to get some fun out of playing a waltz which is the most familiar bit of a score which sounds otherwise as if it had been composed as the background for a C. B. De Mille movie.

Peter Brooke has staged the production in the most efficient manner possible. He just leaves his actors in a daze. The only people who look alive in "Eugene Onegin" are Zachary Solov's dancers, who have mastered the waltz.



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