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This spring sees three major versions of Eugene Onegin—not so long ago, it wasn't even in the repertoire. Plus, women dominate at the Philharmonia

By Martin Kettle   April 2008

Eugene Onegin’s popularity

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is such a staple of the repertoire these days that it is worth emphasising that it was not always so. A British opera lover born in 1892 and dying in 1967 would know Tatiana’s letter scene and Lensky’s aria from concerts and recordings, but would have gone a lifetime without the chance to see a stage performance in this country. It was only with Michael Hadjimischev’s 1968 Glyndebourne production and Peter Hall’s 1971 version at Covent Garden that Onegin began to become the fixture it is today.

How things have changed. This spring alone,…

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