Monday, February 26, 2007

Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin Moviecast

(Just for the record it's pronounced "Yevgenee Ownyaygin")

What a miraculously, amazingly perfect performance! This being my first Russian opera and my first opera in a movie theatre, maybe I shouldn't be talking, but it was just fantastic. Renee Fleming was a dream as Tatiana! What it must have been like to see/hear her in the house, I can't even imagine! Her Letter Scene was simply amazing! I loved how she ran around the stage with leaves in her hands, it was great! I don't care what people say about her, when she tries she is the best! Her tone is perfect and throughout the opera it was flawless. What miraculous work.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky never really caught my attention, UNTIL NOW! Holy moly! It was amazing. He looked every bit as snobbish and jerk-ish as he was supposed to in the first two acts, and then in the final act (when he totally loses it) he looks enraptured and then heartbroken. His singing was unbelievable and it helps that he's good looking. During the polonaise he gets to take his shirt off for a costume change on stage and my friend and I were at the edge of our seats with our jaws dropped. HELLO MR. HVOROSTOVSKY. But he was a jerk to Tatiana, so he can stay heartbroken =P.
Anyway, the rest of the cast was glorious! Ramon Vargas as Lensky was a stroke of genius. What a warm tone! Lately I've been sort of disappointed with some of the tenors the Met has produced, but I wasn't here! What a pleasant surprise! How sad that he has to get shot by his best friend =(, that's the only downfall of the opera. I would have liked to see Lensky live and ONEGIN SHOT! (what a jerk Eugene is, psh) Elena Zaremba's Olga, on the other hand, was slightly disappointing. The acting and attitude was just right, but the singing was a little off. It bugged me that the character was not a soprano because then she sounds too old. Zaremba was, I regret to say, quite a bit wobbly, but enjoyable none-the-less. Sergei Aleksashkin was a wonderful Prince Gremin. His aria almost stopped the show, and rightfully so, it was glorious. Gergiev....Gergiev...there's nothing to say, really, without going overboard! It was perfect, don't let anyone else conduct it!!!!

I'm not so sure if you're supposed to, but I clapped with the audience sitting in the Met. I was one of few who did so, but I wasn't ashamed. It's boring to sit there and listen to other people clap, I wanted it to be like I was right there with them. Most people in my theatre clapped during the curtain calls, but no one dared to let out a "bravo." And it's hopeless to try and see it live AT the Met because the last two performance's are completely and totally sold out =(. Maybe next season???
As for the movie aspect of it, I felt it was mostly good. I would really prefer less "in their face" approach to the singers, I'd rather see the whole stage then just one singer's face for five whole minutes, because the whole stage is what the real audience sees. Some times pulling back is a good thing! However, seeing shots of the orchestra clapping for the performers was charming and I loved seeing the house in it's full glory. Watching the audience during ovations was fun and it really got you into the whole experience.

For anyone who has never gone to one of these moviecasts should definitely go! It was wonderful, my friend and I enjoyed it immensely. And for anyone who has never seen or hear Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin absolutely should! It's a masterpiece!


tjojr said...

I know what you mean about MR. HVOROSTOVSKY. When ever I walk in a room, I see all the jaws dropping too.

Let me ask you something. Do you ever sleep?

Love, Your Favorite Uncle

Esther said...

hey, this comment is a bit late. But I was at that movie broadcast and I felt the same way! I thought I absolutely had to see it live, so I drove 4 hours to NYC to stand 3 hours in line for the standing room tickets of the last performance. It was the best opera experience I've had!