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25 May 2024

Eugene Onegin:  A First Opera Awakens the Soul

Sarmin Sultana

Published: 15:54, 6 May 2024

Eugene Onegin:  A First Opera Awakens the Soul

Photo: Courtesy

Should I sing the praises of the captivating performances that brought the characters to life, or the sweeping music that seemed to flow directly from Tchaikovsky's soul?

The grandeur of the New Opera House in Moscow was only the beginning of an unforgettable evening. Stepping inside, I was transported to a world of elegance and anticipation. This was my first opera, and the prospect of experiencing Tchaikovsky's music paired with Pushkin's timeless tale of 'Eugene Onegin' stirred excitement within me.

What truly struck me about Russian opera was its multifaceted beauty. While the performers held my gaze with their captivating portrayals, it was the music that truly stole the show. It possessed an undeniable power, weaving a tapestry of emotions that resonated deeply within me. Even as a foreigner, the story unfolded through the sheer power of the music. The subtext transcended language barriers, carried on soaring melodies that resonated within my soul.

The minimalist approach to sets and costumes only served to heighten the impact of the performance. Gone were the extravagant sets and blinding lights. Instead, the stage was adorned with simple, elegant pieces that echoed the story's theme. The costumes too, reflected the understated elegance, perfectly complementing the narrative.

One scene stands out in my memory: the moment Eugene Onegin returns to find his love, Tatiana Larina, only to be rejected once more. The movement, the expressions, the raw emotion poured into every note by the singers – it was a masterclass in operatic performance. It made me realize the true power of the human voice. It can soar, it can break, it can connect, it can disarm. It is the bridge between the performers and the audience.

The audience's thunderous applause was a testament to the power of the performance. It was clear that this final act of appreciation was a cherished moment for the performers, a validation of their artistry. For the audience, it was a wave of gratitude washing over us, a recognition of the beauty we had witnessed.

Whether you're a captivated audience member or a dedicated artist, an experience like this is more than entertainment. It's a source of inspiration, a reminder of the power of art to move us, to connect us, and to leave an indelible mark on our souls.

The writer is a Student, Moscow State University of Education

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