Staged in 1996, Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin in Evgeny Kolobov’s interpretation is a classical manifestation of and the ultimate in the author’s theatre, which the Novaya Opera was in the lifetime of its /founding father/. Kolobov engaged a remarkable creative team to work on the project. It was the conductor that became the chief invisible director of the production, defining its focal points and drama orientation.
Evgeny Kolobov: “Eugene Onegin is virtually a tragedy. Anyway, that’s how I hear this opera, how I feel it. This is why, for me, this opera is a Duel, with the capital “D”, between Onegin and Lensky, Lensky and Olga, Onegin and Tatyana, Tatyana and Gremin. It is no coincidence that in the first version of the Tchaikovsky opera, the last words of the protagonist were: “O death, I’m looking forward to you!”, and with these words I finish my production.” In addition, in Kolobov’s version the final words are followed by the music of the fifth, “duel” scene (excerpts from the introduction and the theme of Lensky’s last aria).
Evgeny Kolobov about the production.
“I can’t understand how it could be possible to make a Russian tall tale from this opera, to make jam, when Life is being murdered…”
“…When Gremin sings his aria, he is not alone; all the chorus is there and all the generals sing one of the stanzas instead of him and as if together with him. Because this is a tragic aria, and not what is usually sung: “All men surrender to Love's power” (meaning that I’m quite a man, I can love - such a self-conceited, youthy man’s man). But this is a tragic aria - why have I fallen in love with this girl? He is a man who has gone through the war and has lived a long life; he understands that she doesn’t love him! She is faithful to him, but she doesn’t love him! This is the tragedy that “all men surrender to” – that’s the point! This is a heart cry, not boasting!“
‘”No one understands me” - this is what the production is about …’