FauxPas, on 07 June 2012 - 11:52 AM, said:
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.
The actual Russian text of the libretto of the opera does not make it clear whether the uncle is dead or alive. Also, the text does not have Onegin return the letter, but---inlike the book---does not mention that Onegin kept the letter. Therefore, the matter of whether to have him return the letter to Tatyana is up to the stage director in any particular production of the opera. However, having him return the letter would be inconsistent with his character in this part of the opera. In the first two acts, he is quite even-keeled, much like in the novel. On the contrary, the ballet's Onegin is highly prone to hysterics (as are most other characters in the ballet)---tearing the letter, ignoring Tatiana during a conversation, pushing her during the party, making a scene in public, etc. I doubt that such behavior was realistic for a gentleman of Onegin's background in the 1820s.
The libretto of the opera (in Russian) can be found here:
In general, the book is very short on hysterics. The opera introduces quite a bit of hysterics (e.g., the bizarre challenge to a duel in the midst of a party), but the ballet goes far beyond the opera, making caricatures of all the main characters from the book. I immensely enjoyed watching all the dancers (I attended Thursday's performance with Vishneva, Osipova, Gomes, and Matthews); however, the story at times gets so ridiculous that it was difficult to take it seriously. The fact that the choreography is often unmusical didn't help either.
Fosca, on 10 June 2012 - 12:37 AM, said:
Thanks! This article has a lot of information!