Review: Scottish Opera’s Eugene Onegin

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From 29th April – 30th June | Various venues

A sweeping tale of unfulfilled love heralds the start of Scottish Opera’s summer season, presented across Scotland and in Belfast .  Eugene Onegin, composed by Tchaikovsky, tells Pushkin’s famous tale of a lovesick young girl and the object of her affections, a cocky young man who thoughtlessly spurns her.

Tatyana, the innocent heroine, is sung exquisitely by soprano Natalya Romaniw, portraying the agonies and ecstasies of infatuation with great skill and emotion.  Captivating the audience with her expressivity and incredible voice, particularly in the famous scene where she declares her love for Onegin in a letter, Romaniw showcases her remarkable talent throughout the production.  Onegin, portrayed by Samuel Dale Johnson, gives a fabulous performance, artfully presenting Eugene as the arrogant young man who deserves his comeuppance.  The change in Onegin’s fortunes is clearly shown in Johnson’s evocative face and voice, variously pained, tormented and full of regret – a dismissive man who ultimately realises his mistake.

The chorus, cleverly silhouetted behind the principals, adds a mysterious, ethereal depth to the production along with the set design, which is cleverly constructed and, in one memorable scene, beautifully candlelit.  A cameo by a real live horse is a bold move by Scottish Opera, but one that, along with the candle light and mesmerising voices perfects the multi-sensory experience which good opera can bring.

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