Dmitry Chernyakov opted against a detailed reconstruction of the Pushkin era, and not only that; many canonical details of the classic work underwent changes. It is enough to say that the scene of the duel between Onegin and Lensky significantly differs from the original, which greatly upset Galina Vishnevskaya, who "protested" against the director's arbitrary choices and refused to celebrate her anniversary at the Bolshoi.
The musical director of the production at that time, Alexander Vedernikov, recounted shortly after the premiere: "I recently received a letter: 'Alexander Vedernikov, I wanted to write 'Dear,' but my hand wouldn't allow it.' Somehow, it is believed that the new production of 'Eugene Onegin' is a desecration of national treasures. There is a certain category of people who go to the opera to experience familiar sensations once again, rather than seek new impressions. But the theater is a place that reflects the processes existing in real life. Life changes and the theater changes too. And they just cannot accept that the theater's task is not to preserve certain fixed forms."
Vedernikov aptly responded to all the outraged remarks: Chernyakov's "Eugene Onegin" represents precisely a new form of life for this great opera, fresh, vibrant, and psychologically authentic. No one has ever undertaken such interpretations of Tchaikovsky before. In harmony with the inventive direction, the ensemble of actors – under Chernyakov's guidance – performs on a par with the greatest dramatic artists: Mariusz Kwiecień as Onegin, Tatiana Monogarova as Tatiana, Makvala Kasrashvili as Larina, and Andrei Dunayev as Lensky.
2 hours 30 minutes
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