Encore Michigan

Corinne Winters comes to Detroit to play Tatyana in MOT’s ‘Eugene Onegin’

Preview October 10, 2018 David Kiley

DETROIT, Mich.–Michigan Opera Theatre opens its 2018-19 opera series with Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. And in keeping with the mood of the country these days, there is a very strong heroine, Tatyana, a woman of great intelligence and depth.

This work is Tchaikovsky’s most popular opera, though he is better known as the composer of “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and the “1812 Overture.” This opera is based on the Russian classic by Alexander Pushkin and is the beginning of MOT’s opera series based off of classic literature.

Onegin is considered a classic of Russian literature, and its eponymous protagonist has served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes (so-called superfluous men). It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832. The first complete edition was published in 1833, and the currently accepted version is based on the 1837 publication.

One of the main themes of Eugene Onegin is the relationship between fiction and real life. People are often shaped by art, and the work is packed with allusions to other major literary works. The title character is a worldly, upper-class Russian bored by his life in the country. Invited by the poet Lensky to a friend’s home to meet the young woman whom the latter intends to marry, he is surprised to learn that it is the flighty Olga, and not her intense but poised sister Tatyana, that has caught his friend’s eye. But when Tatyana falls in love with him, Onegin gently brushes her off, explaining that he’s not the type to settle down.

Tatyana, whose vulnerable sincerity and openness on the subject of love has made her, despite her apparent naïveté, the heroine of countless Russian women. Corinne Winters has played the role before, notably at the Arizona Opera where she earned rave reviews. Winters has called Violetta in La Traviata her signature role, but Arizona reviewers said she should consider making Tatyana her professional calling card.

An International Opera Awards nominee praised by BBC Magazine for her performance of “white-hot intensity and consummate control,” Corinne has recently appeared in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the George London Foundation. She has also appeared in recital with the New York Festival of Song, Tucson Desert Song Festival, and Vocal Arts DC, showcasing Spanish song repertoire from her debut album, Canción amorosa.


Week of 6/24/2019

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