Saturday, February 11, 2012

TCHAIKOVSKY: EUGENE ONEGIN (10.02.2012, Staatsoper im Schiller Theatre)


Musikalische Leitung Pietari Inkinen
Inszenierung | Bühnenbild | Lichtkonzeption Achim Freyer
Kostüme Lena Lukjanova
Licht Olaf Freese
Tatjana Anna Samuil
Filipjewna Margarita Nekrasova
Eugen Onegin Roman Trekel
Lenski Arnold Rutkowski
Fürst Gremin Kwangchul Youn
Saretzki Arttu Kataja
Ein Hauptmann Alin Anca

Tonight is magic. The escape to a world-well at least visually-different as ours. It's the fifteenth show for Eugene Onegin/Eugen Onegin (German)/ Евгений ОнегинYevgény Onégin (Russian) by the Staatsoper Berlin. Yummy! I got this chance to experience what does "lyrical scene" really means - and it's love. Composed in 3 acts (7 scenes) and adapted from a book by Alexander Puhskin, I admit: Maestro Tchaikovsky, as the rest of the world know, is a genius. Day to day, I can relate more to these pieces (instrumental works or simply opera) from the east side of Europe. Our same piece of cake called 'pain', everyone?

I must honestly, the mood of the whole audience tonight is quite (how to say this, okay...) plain bad. The casts didn't even come out for the third time, after knowing that our hands are simply tired or frozen due to this winter weather in Berlin. I personally found nothing wrong with the show, but somehow all the hard work seemed to be not appreciated. My deepest condolence to the whole cast and crew. 
With all this bad mood (and a jerk guy sitting next to me, recorded the show a few short times - but hey, thanks to these people, I got preview videos to be put on the post #dilemma), I'm trying to calm my mind and review the tonight's show in its most honest form. So:

The show is a genius. Applause goes to the people behind the scene, especially Achim Freyer - the brain behind this adaption of Tchaikovsky's work. From the stage and (especially) the light - they're just a feast for the eyes. No, no, as you can see from the pictures below, it's not a colorful concept or the mega-changing stage. It's very very black & white, quite dark and gloomy, but that's the whole entertainment. We can really get into the feel of the scene, not through the gesture or acting of the cast, but through this whole concept. 

Anyway, what's really really genius about this production is during 3 hours, we actually watch a basically exact same scene cycle for 4 times. Uh, boring right? NO!!! Instead of doing the usual staging and unnecessary figures, each of the moves, gestures and characters displayed in a scene cycle, serves also for the next cycle in a very very different scene. Confused? Sorry, it's just my bad English. So for example, when the main characters are singing on the center of the stage, a wild man suddenly comes in, walks very strange, doing nothing, walking back and forth -WTF? But then it turns out that this "wild" man is another main character for a scene that appeared in another cycle. Vice versa, when the characters of a scene singing, sometimes they can't be at the the center of the stage, because for another scene at the exact time of the cycle, the center belongs to other characters. See it for yourself to prove and experience. Genius level 110%. 

Anyway, about the cast. Hmm, looks like there's not really a single standout this evening. So sad. There a few golden moments, when the characters Tatjana, Lenski, and Fuerst Germin performed each their solo airs. But the glory didn't last long. Blame us, the audience, for clapping our hands not long enough!

Anyway my experience tonight taught me one thing: watch all those russian operas! 

Rating: 8.5/10

*Did you know, that Rolando Villazón and Rene Pape were also cast of this production? Unfortunately they're not anymore. Well, here's a glance to the past - Villazon as Lenski + interview:

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