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Catch Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ at Northtown


At first, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was hesitant about adapting Alexander Pushkin's novel "Eugene Onegin" as an opera. He thought the plot was too simplistic to carry a full three-act production.

After all, Pushkin's story — almost all of which was written in verse — involves a young man's spurning of a woman, his vainly trying to court her years later, and in between inciting a friend into engaging in a deadly duel. The strength of the novel is its poetic framework.

But Tchaikovsky reconsidered. And by 1878, he had finished his work, both as composer and librettist, and a year later the opera premiered in Moscow. Nine years later it opened in Prague, and four years after that it opened in Hamburg (with Gustav Mahler conducting).

Some 130 year later, Tchaikovsky's opera is still being performed. In fact, opera fans can see a production at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Regal Cinemas theater at Northtown Mall when The Met: Live in HD presents "Eugene Onegin" on the big screen.

American soprano Renée Fleming (Tatania) joins Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Onegin) in the production, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

For those unfamiliar with the opera and its plotline, click on this handy beginner's guide. The head to Northtown, sit back and enjoy the show.

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