Overview

Eugene Onegin is a story of love and loss among oppressive social conventions. Known for its rich orchestration and beautiful melodies, “Onegin” is one of Tchaikovsky’s most beloved operas and the epitome of Russian Lyric Opera.

Opera in three acts
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Libretto by the composer and Konstantin Shilovsky, based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse.
Premiere: Moscow, 1879
Onegin pronounced “awn-YAY-gin”

Sung in Russian with English supertitle translations projected above the stage
Running time: About 2 1/2 hours

Artists

Corinne Winters

Tatiana

Acclaimed by The New York Times as “an outstanding actress, as well as a singer of extraordinary grace and finesse,” soprano Corinne Winters returned to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden this summer as Violetta in La traviata. This marked her first London appearances in her signature role since her explosive European debut in the 2013 Peter Konwitschny production at English National Opera, which landed her on the cover of Opera magazine. In the 2017/18 season, Corinne brings her Violetta to Theater Basel, for her house debut in a new Daniel Kramer production, and to Melbourne, where she debuts with Opera Australia. She also returns to the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda, and debuts at the Bregenz Festival in Austria.

A recent nominee in the International Opera Awards Young Singer category, Corinne has won prizes from the Mabel Dorn Reeder FoundationMarcello Giordani Foundation (1st prize, Critics Choice Award, Vero Beach Prize), George London Foundation (George London/Leonie Rysanek Award), Sullivan Foundation (Career Grant), Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation (1st Prize), Palm Beach Opera Competition (1st Prize), Gerda Lissner Foundation (2nd Prize), and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (National Semifinalist, 1st place New England Region), and is a recipient of Wolf Trap Opera’s Shouse Career Grant.

Corinne Winters

Tatiana

Iurii Samoilov

Onegin

Iurii Samoilov makes his U.S. debut in the title role of Eugene Onegin. Last season, Iurii made role debuts as Ned Keene and Danilo in new productions of Peter Grimes and Die lustige Witwe at Oper Frankfurt, as a member of their prestigious ensemble. Other repertoire in Frankfurt last season includes Guglielmo, Così fan tutte; the title role, Eugene Onegin; Marullo, Rigoletto; and Dandini, La cenerentola. Iurii also returned to the Bolshoi Theatre to reprise his critically-acclaimed portrayal of the title role in Billy Budd. This season Iurii is making a succession of opera and concert debuts, including at Théâtre de la Monnaie.

Iurii Samoilov

Onegin

Jamez McCorkle

Lensky

Lensky was played by New Orleans native Jamez McCorkle, who is someone for opera fans to follow closely. His tenor voice is substantial, expressive and flexible. It was on full display in the excruciatingly beautiful farewell aria he sings before the duel. McCorkle has made this role his own.
-The Post and Courier

Hailing from New Orleans, Jamez McCorkle recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. Also a trained pianist, McCorkle is a winner of several awards and competitions including the George London Competition, Sullivan Foundation, Brava! Opera Competition, National Opera Association Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Gulf Coast Region.

Jamez McCorkle

Lensky

Carolyn Sproule

Olga

Born in Montréal, Carolyn Sproule is a graduate of Julliard School and Rice University. She furthered her training at The Banff Centre, Aspen Opera Theatre, San Francisco Opera (Merola Program), Wolf Trap Opera (Filene Young Artist) and Houston Grand Opera Studio.

In 2014 she had her debut at Metropolitan in Hänsel und Gretel, then she has been invited back for Il trovatore,for Salome, as well as for covering Cherubino in Lenozze di Figaro, Olga inEvgenij Onegin, Myrtale in Thais.

Among her latest performances, her Canadian Opera Company debut as Maddalena in Rigoletto, the debut as Carmenat Lake Area Music Festival, her first appearance in Italy as Ulrica inUn ballo in mascherain Cagliariand her debut in Europe at Wexford Festival as Erika in Barber’sVanessa

Carolyn Sproule

Olga

Steven Humes

Gremin

Appearing regularly on the international stage, American bass Steven Humes continues to perform leading roles including König Marke, König Heinrich, Vodník, Hunding, Fafner, Fasolt, Daland, Hermann Landgraf, Sarastro, Ramfis, Oroveso, Wurm, Gremin, Commendatore, Biterolf, Lodovico, Pistola, Alaska-Wolf Joe, Truffaldin, Eremit and Titurel among many others.

One of his many DVD recordings is the highly acclaimed double-grammy winning Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny recorded with the Los Angeles opera in 2007. Opera News hailed “Humes was a stentorian Alaska-Wolf Joe”. He recorded the role for DVD again in 2010 with a Fura dels Baus production at Madrid’s Teatro Real. Other recordings of note include grammy nominated La Traviata with Ivor Bolton conducting, Idomeneo (DVD) in Munich’s Cuvilliés-Theatre with Kent Nagano conducting, Alice in Wonderland (DVD) named Best World Premier 2007 by OpernWelt magazine, and both Lucrezia Borgia (DVD) and Roberto Deveraux (DVD) with Edita Gruberova.

Steven Humes

Gremin

Katharine Goeldner

Madame Larina

The American mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner studied voice at the University of Iowa with Jocelyn Reiter, and German Lieder at Salzburg’s Hochschule Mozarteum with Paul von Schilhawsky. She lives with her husband and daughter in Salzburg, Austria.

At the Metropolitan Opera, Katharine Goeldner has sung under James Levine as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Ascanio in Benvenuto Cellini and the Schoolboy in Lulu-the role of her company debut.  A favorite at New York City Opera, she has been heard there as Carmen, Ruggiero in George Frideric Handel’s Alcina, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and Minerva in Il ritorno d’Ulisse. She has been honored by NYCO with both their Diva Award and the Betty Allen Prize. In addition, she has appeared in Toulouse as Fricka (Das Rheingold), Waltraute (Götterdämmerung), Geschwitz (Lulu), Idamante (Idomeneo), Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) and the Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos); in Lyon as Octavian and the Composer; at Paris’ Châtelet as the Composer. Her Nicklausse from Bilbao Opera has been documented on DVD by Opus Arte.

Katharine Goeldner

Madame Larina

Meredith Arwady

Filipievna

American contralto Meredith Arwady Kahrl studied at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan and at Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. She received a Master of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied voice with Marlena Kleinman Malas.

Hailed by critics as a “rarity” and “a genuine contralto,” Meredith Arwady delights audiences in the USA and abroad with rich vocal intensity and captivatingx stage presence. She is a 2012 Grammy Award winner for Best Opera Recording (John Adams’s Dr. Atomic). In the 2016-2017 season, she will debut at Washington National Opera reprising her acclaimed performance as Kathy Hagen in Terence Blanchard’s Champion. She also will be seen at the Dallas Opera as Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin and Houston Grand Opera as the 1st Norn in Götterdämmerung. In the summer of 2017, she will return to Santa Fe Opera as Amelfa in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le coq d’or.

Meredith Arwady

Filipievna

Matthew DiBattista

Monsieur Triquet

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista has performed on both the operatic and concert stage with such conductors as James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw in the United States, Italy, France, and Portugal. He sings the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas, newly released on Albany Records.

Matthew DiBattista

Monsieur Triquet

Harry Greenleaf

A captain

Wixom, Michigan native Harry Greenleaf is Michigan Opera Theatre Studio’s resident baritone. He made his debut with Michigan Opera Theatre in 2016 in the role of Top in The Tender Land. His credits with MOT also include Le Bret in Cyrano, Jack Wallace in The Girl of the Golden West and Morales in Carmen. He has been a Studio Artist with the Wolf Tap Opera Company, an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and a Young Artist with the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is an alumnus of the Michigan State University College of Music. Last season, Harry performed with MOT as Marullo in Rigoletto, Sciarrone in Tosca and the roles of Leo Stein and Man Ray in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27.

Harry Greenleaf

A captain

Michael Day

A peasant

Tenor Michael Day makes his Michigan Opera Theatre debut this season as a Michigan Opera Theatre Studio Artist. His performance credits include singing with Indiana University Opera Theatre, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Indianapolis Pro Musica, the Bloomington Chamber Singers and Utah Festival Opera, where he worked as a young artist. He recently returned to the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this summer as a Richard Gaddes Festival Artist, singing the role of Al Joad in a new performing version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal performance from Indiana University and is currently completing a master’s degree from the university. This season, Michael will perform Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, the dual role of Pablo Picasso/F. Scott Fitzgerald in Gordon’s 27 and Spoletta in Tosca at MOT.

Michael Day

A peasant

Stephen Lord

Conductor

Opera News named Lord one of the “25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera” (one of four conductors), and he is continually praised for conducting both traditional and contemporary operatic works. For his debut with San Francisco Opera, conducting Rigoletto, one critic observed, “He partnered his singers perfectly and gave everything its proper weight – he was master of the score’s details and the orchestra played superbly for him.” He is currently music director emeritus for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and was formerly the music director of Boston Lyric Opera.

Stephen Lord joined Michigan Opera Theatre as Principal Conductor in November 2016, and he will lead the company’s artistic activities through the 2018-19 season.

Stephen Lord

Conductor

Tomer Zvulun

Director

Israeli born Tomer Zvulun is one of leading stage director of his generation, earning consistent praise for his creative vision and innovative interpretations.  His work has been presented by prestigious opera houses in Europe, South and Central America, Israel and the US, including The Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas, San Diego, Boston, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Wexford, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, and Wolf Trap as well as leading educational institutes and universities such as The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Boston University.

Tomer specializes in creating major co-productions with other opera companies, and his recent productions have traveled across continents, receiving critical acclaim for their striking visuals and cinematic quality. Tomer is general and artistic director of The Atlanta Opera since 2013.

Tomer Zvulun

Director

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Synopsis

ACT I
Russia, 19th century. Autumn in the country. On the Larin estate. Madame Larina reflects upon the days before she married, when she was courted by her husband but loved another. She is now a widow with two daughters: Tatiana and Olga. While Tatiana spends her time reading novels, with whose heroines she closely identifies, Olga is being courted by their neighbor, the poet Lenski. He arrives unexpectedly, bringing with him a new visitor, Eugene Onegin, with whom Tatiana falls in love.

Tatiana asks her nurse Filippyevna to tell her of her first love and marriage. Tatiana stays up all night writing a passionate letter to Onegin and persuades Filippyevna to have her grandson deliver it in the morning.

Tatiana waits for Onegin’s response in the garden. He admits that he was touched by her declaration but explains that he cannot accept it and can only offer her friendship. He advises her to control her emotions, lest another man take advantage of her innocence.

ACT II
January. The local community has been invited to the Larin estate to celebrate Tatiana’s name day. Onegin has reluctantly agreed to accompany Lenski to what he mistakenly believes will be an intimate family celebration. Annoyed to find himself trapped at an enormous party and bored by the occasion, Onegin takes his revenge on Lenski by flirting and dancing with Olga. Lenski’s jealousy is aroused to such a height that he challenges Onegin to a duel. The party breaks up.

Before the duel, Lenski meditates upon his poetry, upon his love for Olga, and upon death. Lenski’s second finds Onegin’s late arrival and his choice of a second insulting. Although both Lenski and Onegin are full of remorse, neither stops the duel. Lenski is killed.

ACT III
St. Petersburg. Having travelled abroad for several years since the duel, Onegin has returned to the capital. At a ball, Prince Gremin introduces his young wife. Onegin is astonished to recognize her as Tatiana and to realize that he is in love with her.

Onegin has sent a letter to Tatiana. He arrives at the Gremin palace and begs her to run away with him. Tatiana admits that she still loves him, but that she has made her decision and will not leave her husband. Onegin is left desperate. —Courtesy of English National Opera

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