Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sergei Leiferkus, Yuri Temirkanov
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
This Soviet production filmed live at the Kirov conveys the full beauty of Tchaikovsky's vision. It is a poetically tender work which was confirmed by Tchaikovsky himself in 1878 when he said "I played the whole of Eugene ... more »
Bob Epstein | Minneapolis | 07/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1984 performance of "Eugene Onegin" from the Kirov is just marvelous. When they're on their game, nobody performs Russian opera like the Russians, and this performance has the sense of a real occasion.
It's hard to know where to begin the praise - the voices, characterization, sets - they are all terrific. All four main singers are young, good looking, have excellent stage presence, inhabit their characters superbly and are in fine voice. The drama is very real here, with everyone inside their role, even the smaller parts. There is not a wobbly voice in the bunch. None of the old fashioned, curdly-voiced female singers that use to inhabit Russian performances too often. Sergei Leiferkus is a poised, dark Onegin, even gaining one's sympathy at the end. Tatiana Novikova has a lovely, lyrical soprano and is a radiant Tatiana, totally believable as both the young ingenue and later Gremin's wife. Larissa Dyadkova is joyous and outgoing without going overboard as Olga, and Yuri Marusin is impassioned as the tortured Lensky. Prince Gremin's famous love aria in Act 3, sung by Nikolai Okhotnikov, is so poignantly done it practically brings down the house.
The staging is traditionally, as best befits the opera, with lovely costumes and beautiful, evocative sets that would be hard to match. Glorious! Unlike the first two Amazon reviewers of this video, I thought the picture and sound were just fine. In fact, the balance between voices and orchestra was a model of clarity, with both being well projected and easy to hear. The conducting of Yuri Temirkanov (who is not mentioned in Kultur's DVD presentation) is quite broad and very poignant, yet he has all the requisite drama and fire when called for. Temirkanov is particularly good in transitions from lyrical to dramatic subjects. The Kirov Orchestra is very fine, with special kudos to the first horn.
Chorus and dancers must also receive special praise. Good Russian choruses have a special ring to them that is so right for this music, and the dancing (this is, after all, the Kirov!) is a joy. Among the few mostly insignificant caveats are some excess audience coughing, some minor picture flutter in distance shots, and a tendency to film too much of the dancing from too far away. Nothing to get remotely in a boil about. This DVD has classic status written all over it. An easy 5 stars."
Musical gem of a performace
herman joseph | nyc, ny United States | 01/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This perfomance of Onegin is one of the most musical I have seen over the past 30 years. I do remember great performances at the Metropolitan opera with Zylis-Gara and Gedda and a great performance by the Bolshoi when they first came to the Met about 30 years ago. The beauty of this performance however is the total perfection of ensemble staging, singing, acting and conducting all within beautiful sets. The individual singers have excellent techniques, unforced beautiful voices and a true feeling for the nuances of the opera which is conducted to perfection by an unlisted conductor who projects his great love and appreciation of the score. The performers are ideally cast and are embodiments of their roles. However, it is the high quality of the singing and interpretations of every singer that make this such a satisfactory performance. Of course honors go to the beautiful Tatanya whose transformation from the innocent young girl of the letter scene to the mature torn woman of the final scene is reflected in her voice and acting. The same can be said for the Onegin whose arrogance at the beginning to the defeated and tragic figure of the final scene moves the opera to its inevitable conclusion. The Lensky sings and acts the role of the young poet with an inner passion that illuminates the unfolding tragedy;the famous aria is movingly delivered. One is struck by the high quality of artistry of the other members of cast--There is not a wobbly or strained voice. The sets are traditional and beautiful reflecting the lyricism of the text and opera. Unfortunately the modern settings and stagings of Onegin at the Metropolitan and Kirov are not of the same caliber as this performance--in fact they are to be avoided. The only complaint that I have is that this is a 1984 taped live performance, and the technology is not up to 2006 standards--However, the innate beauty of every aspect of this production overides any technical limitations. Onegin is captured as the composer may have envisioned it in his mind as he wrote this glorious music. A gold standard has been set by this performance."
I enjoyed this opera!
Mia Arponen | Tampere Finland | 07/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprised to read those two reviews. I couldn't believe that someone who likes Eugene Onegin could only give one star. This is the best Onegin I have seen. The sets are beautiful and the singing is very good. It is not bad technically either. So this DVD CAN be enjoyed!"
Best Quality; Strongly Recomend
Karen Bearden | 07/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This version of Eugene Onegin is excellent! I watched this movie with the score and know this opera extreamly well and it's all there. If you are a muscian like myself you should appreciate how the conductor is so brilliant with the music. Has English subtitals with good translation but are not removable, the sound quality is great, the sets are beautiful, and the singers sing very well and even act! Also the looks of these performers truely reflect the story's character's personalaties. The performance was perfact. I could feel the characters situations, Tatiana's anguish, Onegin being misjudged by socity and his change through the story relly portrayed, Olga's playfulness, and Lensky's passonate heart of a poet. Also Nyanya being old while Russian tradition changing acted so appropriately. I am moved every time I watch this film. An excellent edition!