Eugene Onegin

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations


The 1879 opera Eugene Onegin, by Tchaikovsky, based on the story, is perhaps the version that most people are familiar with. There are many recordings of the score, and it is one of the most commonly performed operas in the world.


John Cranko choreographed a three-act ballet using Tchaikovsky's music in an arrangement by Kurt-Heinz Stolze. However, Stolze did not use any music from Tchaikovsky’s opera of the same name. Instead, he orchestrated some little-known piano works by Tchaikovsky such as The Seasons, along with themes from the opera Cherevichki[21] and the latter part of the symphonic fantasia Francesca da Rimini.[22]

Choreographer Boris Eifman staged modern rendition of Eugene Onegin as a ballet taking place in modern Moscow. Performed by Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, music by Alexander Sitkovetsky, with excerpts from Tchaikovsky opera "Eugene Onegin".[23][24]

Most recently Lera Auerbach created a ballet score titled "Tatiana" with libretto by John Neumeier for his choreographic interpretation and staging of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin for a co-production by the Hamburg State Opera and the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre in Moscow.[25]

Incidental music

A staged version was adapted by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky and slated for production in the Soviet Union in 1936, directed by Alexander Tairov and with incidental music by Sergei Prokofiev as part of the centennial celebration of Pushkin's death. However, due to threats of Stalinist repercussion for artistic liberties taken during the production, and artistic differences between Tairov and Krzhizhanovsky, rehearsals were abandoned and the production was never put on.[26]


Christopher Webber's play Tatyana was written for Nottingham Playhouse in 1989. It successfully combines spoken dialogue and narration from the book, with music arranged from Tchaikovsky's operatic score, and incorporates some striking theatrical sequences inspired by Tatyana's dreams in the original. The title role was played by Josie Lawrence, and the director was Pip Broughton.


  • In 1911, the first screen version of the novel was filmed: the Russian silent film "Yevgeni Onegin" ("Eugene Onegin"), directed by Vasili Goncharov and starring Arseniy Bibikov, Petr Birjukov and Pyotr Chardynin.
  • In 1919 in Germany was produced a silent film "Eugen Onegin", based on the novel. The film was directed by Alfred Halm, starring Frederic Zelnik as Onegin.
  • In 1958 Lenfilm produced a TV film "Eugene Onegin", which was, actually, not a screen version of the novel, but a screen version of the opera "Eugene Onegin" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The film was directed by Roman Tikhomirov and starred Vadim Medvedev as Onegin, Ariadna Shengelaya as Tatyana and Igor Ozerov as Lensky. The principal solo parts were performed by notable opera singers of the Bolshoi Theatre. The film was well received by critics and viewers.
  • In 1972 Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) produced a music film "Eugen Onegin"
  • In 1988, Decca/Channel 4 produced a film adaptation of Tchaikovsky's opera, directed by Petr Weigl. Sir Georg Solti acted as the conductor, while the cast featured Michal Dočolomanský as Onegin and Magdaléna Vášáryová as Tatyana. One major difference from the novel is the duel: Onegin is presented as deliberately shooting to hit and is unrepentant at the end.
  • In 1994 was produced the TV film Yevgeny Onyegin, directed by Humphrey Burton, starring Wojtek Drabowicz as Onyegin.
  • The 1999 film, "Onegin", is an English adaptation of Pushkin's work, directed by Martha Fiennes, starring Ralph Fiennes as Onegin, Liv Tyler as Tatiana, and Toby Stephens as Lensky. The film compresses the events of the novel somewhat: for example, the Naming Day celebrations take place on the same day as Onegin's speech to Tatiana. The 1999 film, much like the 1988 one, also gives the impression that during the duel sequence Onegin deliberately shoots to kill. This screen version was also criticized for a number of mistakes and inconsistencies.


In 2012 Stephen Fry has recorded an audiobook of the novel in the translation by James E. Falen.

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