17 Mar 2008
Eugene Onegin, ROH
Martin Kettle [The Guardian, 12 March 2008]
Mess with Eugene Onegin at your peril. Several characters in Pushkin's verse novel and Tchaikovsky's opera learn this the hard way. But the warning applies to directors, too. The relationship between Tchaikovsky's assured "lyric scenes" and Pushkin's dazzling irony is a delicate one. Unfortunately, the late Steven Pimlott's production, here revived by Elaine Kidd for the first time since the director's tragic death last year, blunders gratuitously into the elaborate dialectic between author and composer. The result is a theatrical jumble.