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Thread: What opera have you been listening to, lately?

          
   
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  1. #1306
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    To tell you the truth, it's actually kind of surprising that Tatyana still loves him. I would expect from her, strong and sophisticated woman at that point in her life, to be totally over this misguided youthful love for a dandy who ends up being very neurotic and empty.

    So, yes, the romantic ideal would have her still loving him, but in real life, it's pretty unlikely. She'd think of him as a silly teenage crush, and would be asking herself "why in the hell did I ever love this guy? How silly of me!"

    Because if we think of it, Eugene is pathetic. Tatyana's character is a much stronger person.

    So, one way to think of it, is that when she tells him she loves him, she is actually cruelly getting her revenge, because he'll feel a lot more tortured thinking about the "what if" instead of her just trying to laugh him off and humiliate him by telling him, "me, love you? Don't flatter yourself, I'm not that stupid girl any longer." With this, Eugene would probably turn his own love to hatred and get over her as well, so, the way to really punish him is to tell him that she still loves him.

    Because Tatyana has good reasons to hate him. He killed her beloved sister's fiancé, and threw the sister's life in turmoil (events didn't turn very favorable to poor Olga, who got pregnant, fled with another man, etc.).

    So, it would be fitting for Tatyana to inflict the maximum amount of pain she could, and the best way to do it would be to confess to an enduring love (as unlikely as it was) but then say "you can't have me anyway."
    Exactly right! In fact a few verses earlier, she says:
    «Довольно; встаньте. Я должна
    Вам объясниться откровенно.
    Онегин, помните ль тот час,
    Когда в саду, в аллее нас
    Судьба свела, и так смиренно
    Урок ваш выслушала я?
    Сегодня очередь моя.
    XLIII

    Онегин, я тогда моложе,
    Я лучше, кажется, была,
    И я любила вас; и что же?
    "Enough. Stand up. I have to tell you something quite frankly. Onegin, remember the place and time when in the avenue in the garden, fate brought us together and I so humbly heard your lesson? Well today the table is turned. Onegin, I was younger then and prettier, and I loved you, and what of that?"
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  2. #1307
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Exactly right! In fact a few verses earlier, she says:


    "Enough. Stand up. I have to tell you something quite frankly. Onegin, remember the place and time when in the avenue in the garden, fate brought us together and I so humbly heard your lesson? Well today the table is turned. Onegin, I was younger then and prettier, and I loved you, and what of that?"
    So she is using the past tense, there, huh? "and I loved you."

    No "I've always loved you, since then, and still do."

    This comes later - probably once she thinks a little and figures out "huh, I know how to really hurt this guy, who very much deserves to be inflicted maximum pain."
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #1308
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Again, she can bear all kinds of animosity toward Onegin, and with good reason. But nonetheless, she still loves him, and acknowledges as much, in both Pushkin and the opera.

    I suppose you might see her protestation as nothing more than a cruel, calculated lie, at least in Pushkin. But I don't think you can in the opera. Tchaikovsky's music is too passionate, too yearning, for that kind of detachment. You might try to stage it in such a manner, but the scene itself would sweep all that cool reserve away.

  4. #1309
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    So she is using the past tense, there, huh? "and I loved you."

    No "I've always loved you, since then, and still do."

    This comes later - probably once she thinks a little and figures out "huh, I know how to really hurt this guy, who very much deserves to be inflicted maximum pain."
    Yes, Pushkin also didn't think there was ever a future in their relationship. From a paper I emailed you since you are working on the E.O. book:
    It is interesting that Pushkin himself did not believe that Onegin could have ever had a future with Tatyana. Discussing his own novel in the company of friends, Pushkin rejected a friend’s suggestion that had certain events been different, Onegin might have fallen in love with Tatyana sooner. In response, Pushkin simply stated, “oh, no. He [Onegin] was not worthy of Tatyana.” Throughout the novel, Onegin plays the role of a deceitful spoiler. He plays through a variety of roles but he never defines himself clearly. His love is deceitful because it is not pure. He does not love Tatyana for who she is or for the sake of the kind of family he could create with her; instead he loves the idea of being with Tatyana and the way he feels when he is with her. In other words, Onegin loves in a very selfish way. Before writing her letter and professing her love for Onegin earlier in the work, Tatyana spent days thinking about Onegin, learning more about him (by visiting him at his uncle’s estate to borrow books and trying to interact with him there),and truly analyzing and considering how their life together might be. Upon encountering her at the ball some time later (after she was married to Gremin), Onegin, by contrast, reacted very spontaneously, filled with a sudden lust—not love—and a desire to satisfy it.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  5. #1310
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Again, she can bear all kinds of animosity toward Onegin, and with good reason. But nonetheless, she still loves him, and acknowledges as much, in both Pushkin and the opera.

    I suppose you might see her protestation as a cruel, calculated lie, at least in Pushkin. But I don't think you can in the opera. Tchaikovsky's music is too passionate, too yearning, for that kind of cool detachment.
    The important thing to note is that Tchaikovsky did not "wander off the reservation". He admired Pushkin too much for that. His was a faithful rendition of the Pushkin tale, word-for-word true to the real master (which in Tchaikovsky's day was Pushkin).
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  6. #1311
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Yes, she leaves. She has too. And she uses the formal "you" to try to establish some distance from Onegin. But it tears her up inside. We know this--she's *told* him, and us, that she still loves him desperately.

    She's more aware of her position, more careful to maintain it, than Onegin; as a woman at that time, she would have to be. But that doesn't mean she's any less passionate. In fact, based on the opera at least, I'd say her feelings run a good deal deeper than his.
    As a matter of fact, no, she doesn't have to. As far as I understand from the literature of the time, you know, for these aristocrats to have lovers, it wasn't uncommon at all - probably more the rule than the exception (that's why Eugene tries his luck with her so promptly). She got an older husband... who is preoccupied with matters of state... and all grateful that he has a young and good-looking wife. Probably even though he wouldn't be trying to think about it and would prefer to suppress the idea and be in denial, as he ages and there is a big age difference between them, he wouldn't expect to really fulfill her sexually.

    I'd say, if she really still loved Eugene, she'd eventually take him as a lover, while she'd remain married and enjoying the perks of her husband's high position.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  7. #1312
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    The important thing to note is that Tchaikovsky did not "wander off the reservation". He admired Pushkin too much for that. His was a faithful rendition of the Pushkin tale, word-for-word true to the real master (which in Tchaikovsky's day was Pushkin).
    And that's a wonderful thing. But a stage production is necessarily something other than a word-for-word rendition (since it has to translate the written text to a visual medium). And if you apply some criteria of absolute faithfulness to, say, the stage directions or past performance traditions, there wouldn't be any Regie at all. I don't think you're taking that position, are you?

  8. #1313
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I'd say, if she really still loved Eugene, she'd eventually take him as a lover, while she'd remain married and enjoying the perks of her husband's high position.
    Something that Tolstoy took great pains tell us all about.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  9. #1314
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I'd say, if she really still loved Eugene, she'd eventually take him as a lover, while she'd remain married and enjoying the perks of her husband's high position.
    If she saw deceiving her husband as an acceptable course of action. Some women don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Something that Tolstoy took great pains tell us all about.
    Tolstoy also told us that unhappy families are unhappy in their own different ways. Some through adultery; some through fidelity.

  10. #1315
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    And that's a wonderful thing. But a stage production is necessarily something other than a word-for-word rendition (since it has to translate the written text to a visual medium). And if you apply some criteria of absolute faithfulness to, say, the stage directions or past performance traditions, there wouldn't be any Regie at all. I don't think you're taking that position, are you?
    No of course not, I am saying that Holten took liberties with Tchaikovsky, but that Tchaikovsky took no (or few) liberties with Pushkin.

    As said elsewhere, I think there is a lot of legitimacy in Regieoper, but that this is definitely Regieoper if the definition is directors coming up with their own story line.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  11. #1316
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    No of course not, I am saying that Holten took liberties with Tchaikovsky, but that Tchaikovsky took no (or few) liberties with Pushkin.

    As said elsewhere, I think there is a lot of legitimacy in Regieoper, but that this is definitely Regieoper if the definition is directors coming up with their own story line.
    I think I can agree with all of that.

    The difference seems to be, I find some of these Regie choices more successful than you do. And there's no reason we have to agree there.

  12. #1317
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    The important thing to note is that Tchaikovsky did not "wander off the reservation". He admired Pushkin too much for that. His was a faithful rendition of the Pushkin tale, word-for-word true to the real master (which in Tchaikovsky's day was Pushkin).
    How do you explain the fact that Tchaikovsky was accused by his contemporaries of not being faithful enough to the novel?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  13. #1318
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Something that Tolstoy took great pains tell us all about.
    What exactly do you mean? This phrase seems incomplete, you seem to have skipped something and I don't really follow you.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  14. #1319
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    If she saw deceiving her husband as an acceptable course of action. Some women don't.
    Così fan tutte.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  15. #1320
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Così fan tutte.
    Hate to break it to you, but it's just an opera.

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