West London-based opera house Opera Holland Park has announced details of two special performances by its cohort of Young Artists. They will be performing their own production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (1879) on 13 and 23 June at 7.30pm. Tickets for these performances are priced at £30-55.
In this timeless story of innocence versus experience, Onegin visits Tatyana’s family’s country estate. The bookish teenager is impressed by his air of sophistication, and impulsively, she pours out her heart to him in a letter, triggering a life-changing series of events. Years later, they meet again in St Petersburg, and are confronted with a devastating moment of truth.
Tchaikovsky’s music is set to a Russian libretto by the composer along with Konstantin Shilovsky using original verses from Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel of the same name.
The Young Artist creative team for the production comprises conductor Hannah von Wiehler, director Emma Black and répétiteur Alina Sorokina. The singers include soprano Lucy Anderson as Tatyana, while baritone Rory Musgrave is the eponymous Onegin. Mezzo-soprano Anna Elizabeth Cooper plays Tatyana’s sister Olga, with mezzo-soprano Emily Hodkinson as their mother Larina.
Olga’s fiancé – and friend to Onegin – Lensky is sung by tenor Jack Roberts. Mezzo-soprano Jane Monari is Filippyevna, the two girls’ nursemaid. Bass Henry Grant Kerswell plays the part of Prince Gremin and finally tenor Phillip Costovski is French tutor Monsieur Triquet.
Talking about her role, Anderson commented: “I can’t wait to explore the emotional journey Tatyana makes, to examine how her ability to be vulnerable is affected by her experience, and how she changes between different stages of her life. I think the magic of this piece is how much the characters’ internal torment is evident in the music. As a singer it’s a real gift to be a vehicle for that.”
Musgrave said of his own part: “Eugene Onegin is one of the great lead baritone roles. It has always been a dream of mine to sing it. Onegin is an unusual character, neither hero nor villain. He exists as a product of a specific period and class – cultured, intelligent, worldly – yet he is bored of this life and feels he has seen and done it all.
“It is this that creates his somewhat superior attitude towards Tatyana, and it blinds him to what deeper love and companionship she could represent. She is younger and naïve but sees, with an uncluttered mind, a true and deep affection, which he cannot see until it is too late.”
The two Young Artists performances of Eugine Onegin take place at 7.30pm on 13 and 23 June at Opera Holland Park in west London. Tickets are on sale now.
First launched in 2011, Opera Holland Park’s Young Artists programme is now in its 11th year. More than 100 singers and creatives have taken part in the scheme, and 17 Young Artist alumni have returned as principal artists and creatives in the 2022 season.
Soprano Elizabeth Karani, 2016 Young Artist and Amy in OHP’s 2022 production of Little Women (Adamo, 1998), said: “My OHP YA experience was invaluable. The chance to perform a large role in a full-scale production straight out of music college was the perfect outing into the professional world.”
Musgrave added: “I am really looking forward to becoming part of the OHP family. Their reputation for creating a fantastic team that makes great work is second to none. They set a high standard and as a YA member I want to be challenged to reach that same level.”
You can learn more about the Young Artists scheme and hear from former participants including Elizabeth Karani, Blaise Malaba and Julien Van Mellaerts about how their involvement kick-started their careers in a short video on OHP’s YouTube channel.
Alumni from Opera Holland Park’s Young Artist scheme, together with some of this year’s Young Artists, on stage at Wilton’s Music Hall during OHP’s Young Artists Celebration event (Gabi Norland).