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I was lucky to be able to do a short trip over to Berlin on 21st March to see the opening night of Onegin.  Onegin is pretty much a staple for Berlin however this evening's show was to be the debut for 3 of the main characters namely Ksenia Ovsyanick as Tatiana, Daniel Norgren-Jensen as Lensky and Vahe Martirosyan as Gremin.  Marian Walter played Onegin and Krasina Pavola was Olga, with Barabra Schroeder as Mme Larina.

Ovsyanick played Tatiana very well, although I felt that as the ballet progressed she settled/grew into the role and she really owned the final Act.  As the young Tatiana we see the young girl infatuated by the handsome and enigmatic Onegin culminating in the passionate bedroom pdd, only to see her infatuation brutally thrown back in her face when Onegin tears up her love letter later on in the ballroom scene.  Earlier in Act 1 though, Olga and Lensky perform the wonderful double run across the stage closely followed by all the peasants with the girls all leaping - it's one of my favourite pieces in a ballet and SBB didn't disappoint.  It was quite the spectacle and received huge applause.

Moving on to the second Act, Onegin of course cruelly rebuffs Tatiana's attentions returning her letter by tearing it up into her hands leaving her distraught, however despite Tatiana's infatuation for Onegin, Prince Gremin arrives and is introduced to Tatiana.  Onegin then proceeds to deliberately wind up Lensky by dancing with a rather willing Olga.  Lensky eventually threw down the gauntlet (glove in this case) and the duel is accepted by Onegin.  Norgren-Jensen was well partnered by Pavlova and he seemed to suit the role of the rather more gentle character of Lensky.  Pavlova was a lovely Olga and played the part very well.  In the Duel Scene I did find the actual gun shooting part of the duel a little lacking in drama as it was performed at the rear of the stage behind a scrim - not sure if I remember that in an Onegin before I seem to recall it is usually mid stage?  Anyway Ovsyanick and Pavlova played the sisters begging Lensky not to go through with the duel so well and conveyed their desperation very clearly and of  course their sorrow after the inevitable happens.

Act 3 saw Tatiana happily married to Gremin and this is where I felt Ovsyanick came into her own.   I could really feel her love for Gremin and when Onegin turns up you could feel her distress that Gremin was going away.  The big pdd with Gremin was lovely and then this was followed by an equally good pdd with Onegin and Tatiana finally giving Onegin his comeuppance was rather satisfying.   I liked Martirosyan very much as Gremin he was a good solid dancer and took to the part very well.  I am not so sure I liked Walter as Onegin he was good don't get me wrong, I have admired him as a dancer for years, but I think I prefer Kaniskin (or Soares if in London) who has a bit more "bad boy" about him which is always good for Oengin!

For a debut I thought Ovsyanick did really well.  The corps de ballet were on good form and danced all the ballroom scenes beautifully with all the lovely formations which I could see so well from my lofty position on the 3rd tier.

The orchestra and their music were great under the baton of Paul Connolley.  I was just sorry I could not see the cast of 5th April as that is with Kaniskin as Onegin and I do have a soft spot for him as Onegin as I mentioned above!  Overall a really solid performance and very enjoyable evening at the newly renovated Staatsoper Unter den Linden - do go if you get the chance  -it's quality dancing at a very reasonable price in a beautifully renovated, and comfortable, theatre.

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Cast with Paul Connolley, Conductor

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Ksenia Ovsyanick and Marian Walter as Tatiana and Onegin

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Krasina Pavlova and Daniel Norgren-Jensen as Olga and Lensky

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Vahe Martirosyan as Gremin

 

Edited by Don Q Fan
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5 hours ago, Don Q Fan said:

In the Duel Scene I did find the actual gun shooting part of the duel a little lacking in drama as it was performed at the rear of the stage behind a scrim - not sure if I remember that in an Onegin before I seem to recall it is usually mid stage? 

 

It's been like that every time I've seen it.

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13 hours ago, Don Q Fan said:

D3U5oxqXsAIaBkU.jpg

Vahe Martirosyan as Gremin

 

 

I can't help, he looks like a general from a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. How can you chose lilac and pink as the colours for a uniform?? Poor Vahe Martirosyan, I remember him from Zurich, where he was one of Heinz Spoerli's best dancers, dark and intelligent, full of dignity. I should mention that these are not the original costumes, but a new décor by Elizabeth Dalton.

 

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I didn't like the costumes too much, but I remember the Prince's jacket was more grey, I think it's the light. 

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On 05/04/2019 at 09:47, Angela said:

 

I can't help, he looks like a general from a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. How can you chose lilac and pink as the colours for a uniform?? Poor Vahe Martirosyan, I remember him from Zurich, where he was one of Heinz Spoerli's best dancers, dark and intelligent, full of dignity. I should mention that these are not the original costumes, but a new décor by Elizabeth Dalton.

 

I don't like the ballgowns either, they look quite tacky imo. The original costumes are so beautiful and perfect for this ballet, it's a pity they felt the need to change.

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I'm not sure there's any option - are the original fabrics etc. still available?  I got the impression that they weren't (especially because of how Tatiana's dresses have been passed between companies), which would explain why there have been redesigns.

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The original décor is very, very expensive, not so much the costumes, but the sets, which are hand painted in long, long working hours. That's why the Cranko estate allows to produce Onegin without the original costumes and sets by Jürgen Rose; there are several different productions, the Berlin one by Elizabeth Dalton, one by Pier Luigi Samaritani and Roberta Guidi di Bagno for La Scala, one by Thomas Mika for Seoul, China, Flanders, Estonia, and another one by Santo Loquasto for ABT. Paris, RB or the Bolshoi have the original sets and costumes.

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So nice to know that you were able to come to Berlin for this wonderful ballet @Don Q Fan I saw M. Kaniskin and his wife Elisa Carillo Cabrera as Onegin and Tatjana and was blown away, especially in the last act. It was very moving, and at the end, when Tatjana stands alone on the empty stage - it was heartbreaking. Marian Walter and K. Ovsyanick both posted how much they loved to dance this and were very grateful for Cranko's wonderful work. Marian Walter even wrote is was "life changing" for him. 

Edited by Sabine0308
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Yes I saw Marian's comments on IG.  

I was interested to see Kaniskin is married to Cabrera - I had thought he was married to someone else (years ago though)?  Not my business I suppose!  However I am very envious that you were able to see their cast I would have loved to see that one as it was the only one I think?  I shall be over in the new season for Bayadere and Jewels - can't wait! 

Edited by Don Q Fan

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