[Met Performance] CID:310860
Eugene Onegin {98} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/16/1992.

(Debut: Sergei Leiferkus
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 16, 1992


EUGENE ONEGIN {98}
P. I. Tchaikovsky-P. I. Tchaikovsky/Shilovsky

Eugene Onegin...........Sergei Leiferkus [Debut]
Tatiana.................Mirella Freni
Lensky..................Jerry Hadley
Olga....................Birgitta Svendén
Prince Gremin...........Nicolai Ghiaurov
Larina..................Rosalind Elias
Filippyevna.............Judith Christin
Triquet.................Anthony Laciura
Captain.................John Fiorito
Zaretsky................Kevin Short

Conductor...............Seiji Ozawa

Stage Director..........David Kneuss
Set designer............Rolf Gérard
Costume designer........Ray Diffen
Lighting designer.......Gil Wechsler
Choreographer...........Norbert Vesak


Review of Martin Mayer in Opera Magazine (UK)

It was the second time in two weeks the Met had triumphed with an east European opera, for the "Yevgeny Onegin" on December 16 had been done at a level that left the case-hardened orchestra standing in the pit and applauding the curtain calls. The heroine of course was Mirella Freni, still capable of convincingly portraying a late-adolescent girl, and singing just gorgeously. Thomas Hampson had been scheduled to sing her Onegin, but he has been having laryngitis problems and cancelled; the Met got the incomparable Sergei Leiferkus to make his house debut as the cover in this role. In sound, musical substance, acting and appearance he was simply an ideal Onegin. Jerry Hadley, cured of whatever it was that ailed him last season, sang a lovely Lensky. Brigitta Svenden was a beauteous Olga, and it was nice to hear somebody who went effortlessly low in that role, but her voice did not blend well with Freni's in the [first act] duo.

Seiji Ozawa, who had made his Met debut in this opera a couple of weeks earlier, conducted eloquently, if sometimes a touch portentously (Triquet's little aria was shamelessly dragged out). He really likes to conduct orchestras and tends to ask his singers to find his rubatos on their own, though to his credit he followed Freni and Leiferkus carefully in their superbly convincing final duet. Ozawa had apparently been tense for the first two performances, but he was relaxed for this one, and it is always a delight to have a major conductor at the house. The only sour note was the dreadfully amateurish and wrongheaded choreography of the ball scene in the third act.



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