John Cranko’s extraordinary Onegin is a ballet which the very best artists of our age aspire to perform. A dance drama beloved for its rich characterization, musicality and passionate vocabulary, Onegin is based on Alexander Pushkin’s 19th-century verse novel Eugene Onegin and tells a nuanced story of unrequited love. Onegin is set to a gorgeous selection of music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and was redesigned in 2010 with period sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by James F. Ingalls.
Eugene Onegin, an urban aristocrat, visits the countryside out of boredom and attracts a young woman, Tatiana. When Tatiana expresses her love for Onegin in a letter, he rips it up and amuses himself by flirting with her sister Olga, fiancée to his friend Lensky – an act of casual cruelty that ends in tragedy. Many years later Onegin and Tatiana meet again and he realizes that he has loved her all along. But Tatiana rejects him, knowing their time has passed.
Born in South Africa, John Cranko danced with The Royal Ballet and choreographed some of the finest examples of the 20th-century story ballet. Works such as Romeo and Juliet, Onegin and Taming of the Shrew are richly characterized, dramatic and musical, and are performed by the world’s top ballet companies.
The late 19th-century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most popular works in the classical repertoire, particularly his three full-length scores for ballet: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. His work includes full-length operas, multiple symphonies and concerti.
“An emotionally rich work of art” – The Globe and Mail
“A glorious, heartstring-touching sobfest of a ballet – complete with fatal duel – and the National’s dancers play it for all it’s worth.” – Toronto Star
“It's impossible not to get swept up in this foreboding autumn world… All things combined, this Onegin is pure magic” – The National Post
“Perfect marriage of movement and music” – The Ballet Review
Three Act Ballet by John Cranko
Based on the Novel by Alexander Pushkin
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged and Orchestration by Kurt-Heinz Stolze
Set and Costume Design: Santo Loquasto
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalis
Staged by: Jane Bourne
Supervised by: Reid Anderson
Copyright: Dieter Graefe
World Premiere: Stuttgart Ballet, Stuttgart, Germany, April 13, 1965
The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: O’Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, June 14, 1984
This production entered the repertoire on June 19, 2010.
Onegin is generously supported by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.
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