Tchaikovsky knew how Tatyana, his heroine, felt. He had only just completed the famous love letter scene when he received a missive from his pupil Antonina Miliukova containing such a passionate declaration of love that he saw fit to ask the young lady to marry him, hoping to “normalise” his situation and to subdue his homosexuality! The day after the wedding, he attempted suicide… the tragic novel was seeping into his life!
Tchaikovsky is one of the most endearing Russian composers. His dramatic, sensitive and melancholic personality blends with the deeply voluptuous sounds of his music. It exudes incomparable nobility tinted with an authentically Slavonic spirit. Eugene Onegin, composed in 1879 and based on the writings of Pushkin, is his fourth opera. It immerses us in a profound exploration of human emotions, between love, indifference and hatred. The composer, aware of straying from the customary rules of the genre, decided to use the term lyrical scenes to define a work whose central thread focuses chiefly on the psychological portraits of the characters rather than on a traditional linear narrative! In addition to the famous scene of Tatyana’s letter, Lensky’s grand aria is one the absolutely essential elements of the tenors’ repertoire. Dazzling!