UW News

May 7, 2009

Drama, music schools team up for Tchaikovsky opera ‘Eugene Onegin’

The UW Schools of Music and Drama will present Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin May 13-17 in Meany Theater.

Based on the novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin tells the story of a bored nobleman (Onegin) who is introduced to his friend’s fiancée Olga and her sister Tatyana. Tatyana falls in love with him and tells him so, but he rejects her. Later, Onegin has a falling out with his friend and flirts with Olga, which leads to a duel between the two men. It is only years later, after Tatyana is married to another man, that Onegin realizes what he has lost.

Eugene Onegin is filled with strong human emotions, with hardly an inexpressive note in it,” said Noel Koran, a lecturer at the School of Music who is directing the production. “But Tchaikovsky’s opera is not overtly dramatic in the Verdian sense. It is in reality a quietly sad and introspective work. All the major characters feel deeply and suffer greatly, but they express their anguish and pain with a lyrical stoicism appropriate for members of honorable society.”

Koran, who earned an undergraduate degree in drama at the UW, returned to his alma mater last fall after a long career as an actor and singer and then as a teacher at Ohio State and Northwestern universities. He is the School of Music’s director of opera. (See our story about him here.)

The musical director for Eugene Onegin is Peter Eros, who came to the School of Music in 1989 as the Morrison Endowed Professor of Conducting and is the music director and conductor of the University Symphony.

The opera will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, and Friday, May 15, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 17. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students and seniors) and can be purchased from the Arts Ticket Office, 206-543-4880, or online at music.washington.edu.