Opera Scotland

Amanda Echalaz as Tatyana in the ETO production

Eugene Onegin performances

Posted 3 Feb 2012

Our picture of Tatyana in the English Touring Opera production is prompted not only by the forthcoming return of ETO's Onegin to the Perth Festival in May, but by two sets of performances in St Andrews under the auspices of the St Andrews Music Centre, this month (February) at the Younger Hall and in June, at the Byre.

The first performance in Scotland of this marvellous lyric opera was on November 7, 1906 at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh by the Moody Manners company. The first-ever UK performance had been in London some fourteen years earlier conducted by the young Henry Wood and had starred Fanny Moody as Tatyana and Charles Manners as Gremin, so they were reprising their roles.   Moody Manners went on to present Onegin in Glasgow's Theatre Royal, and perfomed it in Glasgow again as late as 1915,

It wasn't performed in Scotland for many years afterwards, but Sadler's Wells brought it to Glasgow in 1957 when it was conducted by the young Alexander Gibson.   Glyndebourne Touring Opera brought it to Edinburgh in spring 1971, when it was sung in Russian for the first time in Scotland.

Scottish Opera put on a stylish production by David Pountney at the Edinburgh Festival in 1977, which was revived, being performed for the last time in 1993.   Memorable performances included those of the baritone Sergei Leiferkus in 1988, when it was given in Russian.

The Bolshoi under Alexander Lazarev opened the 1991 Edinburgh Festival, giving Onegin at the Playhouse.  The audience reaction was extraordinary, for those were the days of the counter coup in Moscow in the last days of the old regime.  As the Bolshoi's coaches drove the company to the airport for their UK flight, tanks were driving in the opposite direction, into Moscow.

Check out the ETO performance in May here and the St Andrews ones here (February) and here (June)

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