Opera of the week: Eugene Onegin (in English) November 3, 2006Posted by Jeff in English, Opera.
I’m not a big fan of operas translated into languages other than those the music was written for. But I admit that I’m so used to hearing great operas sung in Italian and French that I’ve grown used to the sound of the language. I’ve heard “Che gelida manina” so many times that even though I don’t speak a word of Italian, doesn’t mean you could transpose goggledygook into the text and not expect me to notice.
But even though I consider Tschaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin one of my favorite operas, The translation doesn’t phase me; I’m just not that used to the sound of Russian being sung. It helps that the opera’s plot, based on the Pushkin poem, has more theatrical resonance than many relatively better-known chestnuts of the standard repertoire. In any event, the translation works.
The British are big on translated opera, thus this 1967 BBC studio telecast with John Shirley-Quirk in the title role, Margaret Price as Tatyana, Yvonne Minton as Olga and Robert Tear as Lensky.
Once again, thanks to La Cieca at Parterre Box.