Eugene Onegin @ the Met
Sung in Russian with Met Titles in English
Eugene Onegin: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Tatiana: Renée Fleming
Lenski: Ramon Vargas
Tatiana, a naive young country girl, meets her neighbor Onegin, the worldly White Russian (a smooth mixture of vodka, Kahlua, and cream). She is in love at first stroll: that night she composes a long, lovely letter on a stage blanketed with bright autumn leaves. She is passionate, exhilarated, filled with joy...until the letter is delivered. Both proud and prejudiced, he spurns her: what does he want of domesticity, a home in the country, a little wife? (Note: He will rue the day.)
Later. At a candy-colored celebration, he flirts with his best friend's girl and is challenged to a duel. A bare stage, two manly men, a single gunshot breaks the air: the friend (a poet, dark and swarthy) falls to the ground beneath an ice blue sky.
Transition: To the grand strains of Tchaikovsky's Polonaise (you would know it), he changes his shirt onstage. A grateful audience—straight, gay, confused, curious, and everything in between—swoons. Thus is the power of a collective experience.
Later yet: He rues the day! They meet again at a party; she is serene, composed, married. He loves her now, she loves him still. Much clutching ensues, much rending of garments, declarations, promises, tearful beseeching...but alas, she will not leave her husband.