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Onegin - Spring 2012


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#1 Batsuchan

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:50 PM

WOW! Vishneva and Gomes were unbelievable tonight! abatt said it before, and I'll say it again--they are an incredible partnership! I feel totally emotionally spent!

Osipova was the perfect vivacious soubrette as Olga. With their pale, pale skin and dark hair, she and Vishneva truly looked like sisters--one perky, with a grin from ear to ear, and the other deeply beautiful but melancholic. Jared Matthews made a charming Lensky.

I very much enjoyed the almost classical pas de deux between Tatiana and her husband (played by Gennadi Savaliev) in Act III. With the numerous supported promenades and the Tchaikovsky score (and the crown on her head!) it almost felt like something out of Sleeping Beauty!

But OH, those pas de deux between Tatiana and Onegin!! Vishneva really threw herself into them with everything she had, and Gomes was always there to catch her and whip her around in an eruption of anguished passion. BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!!!

Will be interesting to see the other casts, but I'm not sure they can top this!!

#2 Batsuchan

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:00 PM

I forgot to mention that the sets and costumes are absolutely GORGEOUS!! Beautiful!

The house was packed tonight, which was a nice contrast to all the empty seats at "The Bright Stream" last week...

#3 mussel

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:51 PM

Diana's red gown at the ball and the dark emerald one at the end were absolutely gorgeous. The act I pdd was rapturous, OMG. And Jared Matthews got to dance with two of the world's top prima, at the same time!! Tonight's cast really set the bar extremely high for the ones that follow.

I wish Cranko would use the polonaise music from the opera for the ball scene. When was ABT doing this ballet last time?

#4 Classic_Ballet

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:56 PM

i believe the last time that they did this was in 2002

#5 Meow

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:18 AM

Thank you for the reviews, and I look forward to many more! I was actually in tears because I could not get to NY to see this ballet. The youtube clip of Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in the final scene is one of the most powerful pieces of performance I have ever seen, and I would so love to see this in person. I am keeping fingers crossed that ABT will bring this ballet to DC.

#6 mussel

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

Was last night role debuts for Diana and Natasha?

#7 FauxPas

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:13 PM

Yes both Natasha and Diana made role debuts. Both Irina Dvorovenko and Julie Kent did Tatiana in the 2001 and 2002 performances. Maria Riccetto was one of the Olgas back then too. Xiomara Reyes was another Olga in her first season with the company. Susan Jaffe was also a Tatiana back then but last night danced Madame Larina - made me feel a little old... I kept trying to see Alessandra Ferri as Tatiana but I think she canceled both seasons. Angel Corella, Ethan Stiefel and Vladimir Malakhov were three of the Lenskys.

Later at a gala, Ferri and Bocca danced the third act pas de deux where Tatiana rejects Onegin many years later. It burned up the stage. I wished ABT had paired them in the entire ballet.

#8 Golden Idol

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:48 PM

Alina has danced Tatiana? I wondered whether it's in her repertoire! Yes, let's hope if she comes back next summer ABT will cast her in a revival. It goes without saying that she would make a lovely Olga, too.

#9 MRR

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:43 PM

Alina has danced Tatiana? I wondered whether it's in her repertoire! Yes, let's hope if she comes back next summer ABT will cast her in a revival. It goes without saying that she would make a lovely Olga, too.


She has danced both Tatiana and Olga, in fact.

#10 annamicro

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:42 PM

Alina has danced Tatiana? I wondered whether it's in her repertoire! Yes, let's hope if she comes back next summer ABT will cast her in a revival. It goes without saying that she would make a lovely Olga, too.


[size="3"][font="Calibri"][size=3]I think Tatiana is one of Cojocaru's best roles (I love especially the way she not only spiritually but also physically changes in the last act and the desperate and “violent” way she and Kobborg dance the last pdd – her Olga is lovely but obviously far less interesting, in the last two runs at Royal Ballet she even didn’t dance it), but a guesting is extremely unlikely: as far as I know a policy requires that Onegin is danced only by members of the company or guests from Stuttgart Posted Image (it was made an exception for a single benefit show in favour of Royal Ballet of Flanders, danced by Cojocaru and Kobborg). A real pity: the next year Onegin will be back at the Royal Ballet and I’d have loved to see Gomes as a guestPosted Image ...I hope to read more about his Onegin (and maybe also to see some clips on youtube: I’m confident he could become a favourite of mine, together with Kobborg and Moreau).[/size][/font][/size]

#11 sidwich

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

I kept trying to see Alessandra Ferri as Tatiana but I think she canceled both seasons.


Ferri did perform it at one point with ABT. I remember seeing her perform it with Guillaume Graffin at the Met one season. From what i recall, it was not an ideal pairing, and I agree that it's a shame that Ferri/Bocca never performed it together.

It must have been several years ago, though. The other cast that I saw that season was Julie Kent/Robert Hill.

#12 Batsuchan

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

I kept trying to see Alessandra Ferri as Tatiana but I think she canceled both seasons.


Ferri did perform it at one point with ABT. I remember seeing her perform it with Guillaume Graffin at the Met one season. From what i recall, it was not an ideal pairing, and I agree that it's a shame that Ferri/Bocca never performed it together.

It must have been several years ago, though. The other cast that I saw that season was Julie Kent/Robert Hill.


I did not see any of these performances, but I know that Marcelo danced with Alessandra Ferri in "Onegin" at some point--he was a last-minute replacement.

#13 FauxPas

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:07 AM

I saw the Julie Kent/Roberto Bolle performance last night. This ballet needs a lot of dramatic voltage from the dancers to make an exciting evening. It doesn't play itself. Kent and Bolle are lovely dancers but took too long to catch fire - it was too little, too late. Especially in comparison with Vishneva/Gomes on Tuesday night. Kent was lovely and wasn't unconvincing from a distance as a teenager. But her Act I and II Tatiana was very quiet and introverted without the intensely repressed emotion that Vishneva (and Haydée and Makarova and Ferri and...) brought to the role. She was shy, lyrical and small-scale. Very natural, truthful and subtle but not intense. I didn't get a sense of wild new emotions straining to break free. Whereas Vishneva suggested a rich inner life under the surface, Kent seemed dull and prim. The role's choreographic demands are well within Kent's current physical capabilities - there is not a lot of sustained dancing especially at the beginning. In the pas de deuxs she is lifted a lot.

Roberto Bolle basically has a warm, understated sympathetic personality on stage. Bolle is not the kind of performer who transforms himself into the character like Gomes or Bocca did. He works from his own very glamorous and charismatic personality and if it fits the role, then all is good. He is very much the Prince onstage - essentially gracious. He is imposing but unthreatening. His Albrecht is not really a cad and as Onegin he tried hard to be one but no cigar. In the first act, Bolle smiled too much especially when he is dancing with Tatiana - it is automatic with him, he is very much the gallant with his partners. His tall, dark good looks fit the Byronic image to perfection and his dancing was wonderfully clear, expansive and controlled. But the emotional darkness of the character wasn't there - he played the cruel actions but didn't seem to be feeling them or knowing where they come from. So what he did to Tatiana seemed random and offhand. It struck me that his temperment is better suited to Lensky but who would you cast as Onegin with him?

Now Pushkin's Onegin is a complex character - he is young, very bored and Tatiana's actions are actually very aggressive for a woman of that time. The woman, especially a virtuous young one, is not supposed to take the initiative with a man. And for a woman of her class a declaration of love means marriage - something that Onegin at that time - dependent on a sick uncle - cannot decide for himself. So his cool return of the letter could be seen not as a callous rejection but a brotherly admonition from someone who at that time is not interested in or able to enter into marriage. Cranko makes him into a sadistic male tease who enjoys leading Tatiana on and then cutting her dead.

Anyway both Kent and Bolle did their best work in the last act as the mature regal Tatiana and the repentant, truly amorous Onegin. Kent danced the Act III pas de deux with Prince Gremin with a swan-like grace and tenderness with beautiful supported promenades and arabesques. Kent also subtly suggested the conflicting emotions that tore Tatiana apart in the final scene with Onegin where she rejects him. Having more positive and vulnerable emotions to play worked to Bolle's favor and he seemed genuinely repentent and sincere. Suddenly the two seemed to be sparking off of each other and the emotion was at the right level. But then the ballet was over.

Just a note - all the lifts and partnering worked very well. The problem with their Letter/Dream Onegin pdd at the opening night gala was not only a lack of rehearsal but the stage was too shallow. Here Kent and Bolle were better rehearsed and had the whole stage to traverse whereas at the opening night gala they only had the front third of the Met stage to work with. Also I think this pas de deux needs to be rehearsed on the actual stage itself which it might not have been at the gala.

The rest of the cast was fine. Jared Matthews stepped in as Lensky again replacing Blaine Hoven and did well. In his Act III solo there were a few shaky moments which weren't present in his excellent opening night performance. Maria Riccetto was a good Olga with lovely clear footwork and turns but less ballon and vivacity than Osipova (a really hard act to follow). Roman Zhurbin was very sensitive and warm as Prince Gremin and an excellent partner. Martine Van Hamel as Mme. Larina and Nancy Raffa as the Nurse are always welcome presences on the stage and added a touch of character and class to their limited assignments. Decent but far from filled house.

#14 Ilya

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:17 AM

Now Pushkin's Onegin is a complex character - he is young, very bored and Tatiana's actions are actually very aggressive for a woman of that time. The woman, especially a virtuous young one, is not supposed to take the initiative with a man. And for a woman of her class a declaration of love means marriage - something that Onegin at that time - dependent on a sick uncle - cannot decide for himself. So his cool return of the letter could be seen not as a callous rejection but a brotherly admonition from someone who at that time is not interested in or able to enter into marriage.


In Pushkin, the uncle is dead and Onegin is rich by the time Onegin and Tatiana meet. Also, in Pushkin, he never returns her letter. He keeps it until the end of the novel.

#15 FauxPas

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

In the Tchaikovsky opera (which I know better than the novel), Onegin discusses the Uncle as if he is alive. Also, in both the opera and the ballet, Onegin returns Tatiana's letter.


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