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Thread: Should I Go to the Met Live in HD Eugene Onegin Today?

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    Default Should I Go to the Met Live in HD Eugene Onegin Today?

    I am not really that crazy about Netrebko's singing but perhaps I will like her better in her native language. I certainly enjoy both Kwiecien and Piotr Beczala. Has anyone seen the new Met production (I think there have been a few performances in NYC already). Thanks for any feedback ...

    Best Regards,

    George

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    I'm going on Wednesday to the re-broadcast. I haven't seen the production but understand it moves the action forward a few decades to the turn of the last century.

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    Her voice has changed a lot lately. I'm not sure it's right for Tatiana but you should go just to see how different it is!

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    I attended today and loved it. This opera wasn't part of my subscription and I decided to attend in HD. I'm glad I did. I sit in the balcony at the Met but the acting in this opera grabbed me - I wouldn't have experienced that in the House. By the end of Act II, I was weeping...and continued to do so (intermittently) until Act III began. I do not have a trained ear and have only been listening to and attending opera for the past 5 years and to my ear, they all sounded beautiful. But, the heartfelt renditions by Beczala and Kwiecien were tremendously moving...very fine acting to match their wonderful voices. Anna Netrebko was also interesting to watch up close. She sizzled in Act III, and her final scene - the intensity of her encounter with Onegin -well, she blew me away!

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    Senior Member Pip's Avatar
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    It's a tough sing for any soprano - the ones who are good at the beginning are sometimes to lightweight for the last act.
    The ones who are great at the end can sound too old for the young girl.
    I heard the first night broadcast and the singing was tremendous from all.
    Good conducting - all in all a great first night of the new season.

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    Well, I went and am glad I did. I had never seen Eugene Onegin before but realized when the Big Tunes came up, that I had heard them all before. I have to say, I found Anna Netrebko more convincing as an actress (for the most part) here than most of her performances I have seen. Is it just me, or is she getting fat? Looks like she has packed on about 30 pounds, mostly on the backside. Perhaps it was the costume -- I hope for her sake. But her arms were bigger too. Anyway. I realized one thing I dislike about her voice is the sheer vocal quality. There's not a lot of vibrato, and it is rather a white sound. It is more attractive in the attack than in the release, where her middle voice sometimes sounds like bad violin strings getting scraped.

    I loved the lush music of the opera! Being Tchaikovsky, there were stretches of lush music that I had not heard, and the ecossaise and grand polonaise in the third act were stunning, as was Valery Gergiev's intimate feel for this music which he has obviously known for a very long time. I must say, the Met Chorus did an incredible job with their singing, a lot of tricky parts, obviously very well-prepared and not at all threatened by the Russian. Bravi to them! And some of the smaller bit parts were beautifully cast and sung, in particular Larissa Diadkova as Filippyevna, Tatiana's nanny.

    Netrebko. Convincing to me in the first act as a young girl, and in her humiliation by Onegin. In the second act, after Lenski and Onegin agree to a duel over Olga, she seemed to be sleepwalking, not knowing what to do. She sort of stumbles off in a daze, perhaps that was her intent. But it was unconvincing to me. I think this is still a role in progress for Netrebko.

    The tenor Piotr Beczala absolutely stole the show, in my view. Of course this is the kind of role he so excels in, ardent lover (as in the Live from the Met Manon a couple of years ago), somewhat naive. Even though he has high notes to spare, as he said in his interview this role is not terribly difficult vocally, so his job was just to express what is in the music. But he was heartbreaking, completely convincing dramatically and vocally, from beginning to end. I thought his famous aria, "Kuda, kuda, kuda vwi udalilic' " was the single best moment of the whole show.

    Mariusz Kwiecien was top-notch vocally although his acting seemed a bit one-sided, petulant sneers and boredom being the dominant themes. This is not a high-note fest for the baritone either, so he could not shine as much through his singing, which I think is better than his acting. Yes Mariusz you are sexy, but you might be a better actor if you let everybody else decide that for themselves rather than being so sure of it yourself. And I found his rolling around the stage when he finally discovers his love for Tatiana pretty absurd. But the final confrontation with Tatiana was super singing and acting overall, and I loved the touch of Tatiana stealing a sole kiss from the man she loves just before saying goodbye forever, just as he had done to the young girl she was many years ago, not being able to resist it even after humiliating her.

    The drama. Am I the only one that finds this curious? Act II ends with the duel where Onegin kills his friend Lenski (and the boyfriend/fiance of Tatiana's sister Olga). Act III is all about Onegin returning abroad after several years, discovering Tatiana is now the married Princess Gremin, him finally realizing he loves her. But in their conversation there is not a word of reproach from Tatiana, e.g. "You SOB you killed your best friend and my sister's boyfriend?" Tatiana and Onegin say not a word.

    The Met Orchestra were in top form. I have a new favorite Tchaikovsky piece.
    Last edited by Barelytenor; Oct-06-2013 at 19:15.

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    Senior Member Bix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by margaretlb View Post
    I attended today and loved it. This opera wasn't part of my subscription and I decided to attend in HD. I'm glad I did. I sit in the balcony at the Met but the acting in this opera grabbed me - I wouldn't have experienced that in the House. By the end of Act II, I was weeping...and continued to do so (intermittently) until Act III began. I do not have a trained ear and have only been listening to and attending opera for the past 5 years and to my ear, they all sounded beautiful. But, the heartfelt renditions by Beczala and Kwiecien were tremendously moving...very fine acting to match their wonderful voices. Anna Netrebko was also interesting to watch up close. She sizzled in Act III, and her final scene - the intensity of her encounter with Onegin -well, she blew me away!
    I saw this also and that final scene, just amazing. Beczala was phenomenal.

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    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    A little too late, but my answer is YES. Well, you will have read by now what you missed, I hope you can get another chance. Where I live, there is only on chance. Here's what I thought about it:

    My opera reviews

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    A little too late, but my answer is YES. Well, you will have read by now what you missed, I hope you can get another chance. Where I live, there is only on chance. Here's what I thought about it:

    My opera reviews
    Read again and you will see that I did not miss it. Thank you!

    Best Regards,

    George

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    As yuo know from my earlier comment, I loved the producion. So much so in fact, I just purchased a ticket for the encore HD showing on Wednesday evening. Can't wait to see this again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barelytenor View Post
    Well, I went and am glad I did. I had never seen Eugene Onegin before but realized when the Big Tunes came up, that I had heard them all before. I have to say, I found Anna Netrebko more convincing as an actress (for the most part) here than most of her performances I have seen. Is it just me, or is she getting fat? Looks like she has packed on about 30 pounds, mostly on the backside. Perhaps it was the costume -- I hope for her sake. But her arms were bigger too. Anyway. I realized one thing I dislike about her voice is the sheer vocal quality. There's not a lot of vibrato, and it is rather a white sound. It is more attractive in the attack than in the release, where her middle voice sometimes sounds like bad violin strings getting scraped.

    I loved the lush music of the opera! Being Tchaikovsky, there were stretches of lush music that I had not heard, and the ecossaise and grand polonaise in the third act were stunning, as was Valery Gergiev's intimate feel for this music which he has obviously known for a very long time. I must say, the Met Chorus did an incredible job with their singing, a lot of tricky parts, obviously very well-prepared and not at all threatened by the Russian. Bravi to them! And some of the smaller bit parts were beautifully cast and sung, in particular Larissa Diadkova as Filippyevna, Tatiana's nanny.

    Netrebko. Convincing to me in the first act as a young girl, and in her humiliation by Onegin. In the second act, after Lenski and Onegin agree to a duel over Olga, she seemed to be sleepwalking, not knowing what to do. She sort of stumbles off in a daze, perhaps that was her intent. But it was unconvincing to me. I think this is still a role in progress for Netrebko.

    The tenor Piotr Beczala absolutely stole the show, in my view. Of course this is the kind of role he so excels in, ardent lover (as in the Live from the Met Manon a couple of years ago), somewhat naive. Even though he has high notes to spare, as he said in his interview this role is not terribly difficult vocally, so his job was just to express what is in the music. But he was heartbreaking, completely convincing dramatically and vocally, from beginning to end. I thought his famous aria, "Kuda, kuda, kuda vwi udalilic' " was the single best moment of the whole show.

    Mariusz Kwiecien was top-notch vocally although his acting seemed a bit one-sided, petulant sneers and boredom being the dominant themes. This is not a high-note fest for the baritone either, so he could not shine as much through his singing, which I think is better than his acting. Yes Mariusz you are sexy, but you might be a better actor if you let everybody else decide that for themselves rather than being so sure of it yourself. And I found his rolling around the stage when he finally discovers his love for Tatiana pretty absurd. But the final confrontation with Tatiana was super singing and acting overall, and I loved the touch of Tatiana stealing a sole kiss from the man she loves just before saying goodbye forever, just as he had done to the young girl she was many years ago, not being able to resist it even after humiliating her.

    The drama. Am I the only one that finds this curious? Act II ends with the duel where Onegin kills his friend Lenski (and the boyfriend/fiance of Tatiana's sister Olga). Act III is all about Onegin returning abroad after several years, discovering Tatiana is now the married Princess Gremin, him finally realizing he loves her. But in their conversation there is not a word of reproach from Tatiana, e.g. "You SOB you killed your best friend and my sister's boyfriend?" Tatiana and Onegin say not a word.

    The Met Orchestra were in top form. I have a new favorite Tchaikovsky piece.
    Thanks so much for the wonderful review! It's so nice to hear detailed opinions of everything you noticed - it's kind of another way of experiencing the opera, not quite as good as being there but some of the energy and intensity is conveyed and it's much appreciated.

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    I saw it last night. Beczala was superb in every way. I felt really, really sad when his Lensky died. Beczala reminds me a lot of Nicolai Gedda, both in appearance and in vocal color. The confrontation with Onegin in Act II was electrifying, and I liked that his Lensky looked truly terrified in his aria. As always, Anna Netrebko's acting impressed me. I've always liked the color of her voice -- it reminds me of autumn leaves or of flame -- and her smokey middle register. It's a very colorful and exciting sound to me. If there's anything about her singing that sets me on edge, it's that she tends to sound as though she's singing sharp. What will happen is that she'll hit a loud high note and be apparently on pitch, and then the sound will seem to "jump" or become a bit shrill, and she'll sound sharp. But whether she's actually sharp or whether the bright, somewhat "hard" (and I don't mean that in a bad way) timbre of her voice makes her sound sharp is something I'm not sure of. Mariusz has a first-rate voice, but I personally found his Onegin somewhat "incomplete." For me he conveyed Onegin's cold, jaded quality and even made me believe he was sorry for having killed Lensky; but I didn't quite believe he was an aristocrat -- his bearing lacked a certain nobility. I think Dmitri Hvorostovsky, whom I remember well from another Met telecast, did "nobility" and "bearing" better. On the whole, in fact, I prefer the previous Met production to this one. But I did like the parlor setting of the first dance scene (Act II, scene one) much better than the big ballroom setting the old production used. And as a lover of theatre, I appreciated that this director moved the action forward a few decades, because then the story's similarities to Chekhov plays like Uncle Vanya become more obvious. All in all, a memorable evening.

    Edited to add: Oh, and Valery Gergiev's gave a very emotional reading of the score -- as he did in the earlier Met telecast.
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Oct-10-2013 at 19:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellinilover View Post
    And as a lover of theatre, I appreciated that this director moved the action forward a few decades, because then the story's similarities to Chekhov plays like Uncle Vanya become more obvious
    But how is displaying any possible similiarities with Chekhov a goal for Onegin production? I get the impression that Met is trying to do their time setting updates as to please both traditionalists and those who want Met to follow the current fashion. To do the update and at the same time don't change anything that could upset anti-regie people. So the effect is neither here nor there, a forced and quite pointless change. The XIXth century Lucia di Lammermoor, risorgimento in L'Elisir d'Amore and now this Onegin - all seem to me this way. There is nothing important accomplished by the change and many things are lost because most of characters: Onegin, Lensky and Tatiana are essential types of 20's-40's of XIXth century - taken out of their era they seem largely out of place, particularly Lensky who represents typical young man of his generation (known from many literature works other than Pushkin's Eugene Onegin). In times choosen for background of this production a man such as he would seem bizzarely old-fashioned to his fellow young poets.
    Last edited by Aramis; Oct-10-2013 at 20:02.

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    Who missed it? You can see it again (while it lasts):

    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barelytenor View Post
    I am not really that crazy about Netrebko's singing but perhaps I will like her better in her native language. I certainly enjoy both Kwiecien and Piotr Beczala. Has anyone seen the new Met production (I think there have been a few performances in NYC already). Thanks for any feedback ...

    Best Regards,

    George
    I would go, but be very careful.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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