Conductor – Honoured Artist of Russia, People's Artist of the Republic of Belarus, laureate of the National Theatre Award "Golden Mask", laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus, Alexandr Anisimov;
Production Designer – Honoured Artist of Russia, laureate of the National Theatre Award "Golden Mask", Vladimir Petrov (Voronezh);
Costume Designer – Yury Cooper (London);
Assistant of costume designer – Evgenia Limarova (Moscow);
Lighting Designer – Drevaleva Elena (Moscow);
Choirmasters – Honoured Artist of Russia Valeria Navrotskaya, Olga Safronova;
Photographer – Elizaveta Sukhova.
The Larinys' garden on a summer evening. Tatiana and Olga sing an art song. Larina and the nurse Filippievna reminisce about their own youth. A group of peasants enter. Tatiana has been reading a romantic novel and is absorbed by the story; her carefree sister, on the other hand, wants to join in the celebrations. Larina tells Tatiana that real life is different from her novels. Visitors arrive: Olga's fiancé Lensky, and his friend Eugene Onegin. Onegin is initially surprised that Lensky has chosen the extrovert Olga rather than her more subtle elder sister as his fiancée. Tatiana is immediately and strongly attracted to Onegin.
In her room, Tatiana is restless and unable to sleep, she asks Filippievna to tell her about her youth and early marriage. Left alone, Tatiana pours out her feelings in a letter to Onegin. She finishes writing the letter at dawn and persuades Filippievna to send her grandson to deliver the letter to Onegin.
Tatiana waits anxiously for Onegin's arrival. Onegin enters to see Tatyana and give her his answer to her letter. He explains that he is not a man who loves easily and is unsuited to marriage. Tatyana is crushed and unable to reply. A ball is being given in honour of Tatiana, whose name day it is. Onegin is grows irritated with a group of neighbours who gossip about him and Tatiana, and with Lensky for persuading him to come to the ball. He decides to avenge himself by dancing and flirting with Olga. Lensky is astounded and becomes extremely jealous. He challenges Onegin to a duel.
Lensky is waiting for Onegin with his second Zaretsky. Lensky reflects on his life, his fear of death and his love for Olga. Onegin arrives with his valet Guillot. Both Lensky and Onegin are reluctant to go ahead with the duel. But it is too late; Zaretsky gives them the signal and Onegin shoots Lensky dead.
Five years have passed, during which Onegin travelled extensively abroad. Standing alone at a ball, he reflects on the emptiness of his life. Prince Gremin enters with Tatiana, his wife, now a grand, aristocratic beauty. Onegin is deeply impressed by her beauty and noble bearing. Tatyana, in turn, is overwhelmed with emotion when she recognizes him, but tries to suppress it. Gremin tells Onegin about his great happiness and love for Tatyana, and re-introduces Onegin to his wife. Onegin, suddenly injected with new life, realizes that he is in love with Tatyana. He determines to write to her and arrange a meeting.
Tatiana has received Onegin's letter, which has stirred up the passion she felt for him as a young girl and disturbed her. Onegin enters. He is full of passion and remorse. Tatiana recalls her earlier feelings and the possibility of happiness for them both, but the past cannot return. Appealing to Onegin’s honour, Tatiana asks him to leave her. She is determined to remain faithful to her husband and her duty.
Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Konstantin Shilovsky after the poetic novel of the same name by Alexander Pushkin
World premiere: March 17, 1879