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(Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin). Sop. Daughter of Mme Larina and sister of Olga. She falls in love with Eugene Onegin when he is brought to their house by his friend Lensky, who loves Olga. Unable to sleep that night, Tatyana asks her old nurse about her own young days and how she knew when she was in love. She confesses her thoughts about Onegin to Filipyevna and then writes him a letter admitting her feelings for him. When next they meet, Onegin humiliates her by rejecting her love. At her birthday party she finds it difficult to respond when Mons. Triquet sings to her, and she morosely watches Onegin flirting with her sister. He is challenged to a duel by the jealous Lensky and Lensky is killed. Onegin leaves town. Tatyana marries the wealthy Prince Gremin. Two years later, at a ball in St Petersburg, she and Onegin meet again. He realizes he is in love with her and she admits that she still loves him. However, she is determined to remain loyal to Gremin and sends the now despairing Onegin away. Aria: Puskay pogibnu ya (‘Even if it means I die’). This is the famous letter-song, a long 12-minute showpiece for the soprano. It is around this letter-song that Tchaikovsky developed much of the music for the opera. Tatyana was the character who attracted him to Pushkin's verse, rather than the Onegin of Pushkin's title. The role requires a dramatic soprano with great vocal flexibility. One of the most famous interpreters in recent years was Galina Vishnevskaya (wife of the cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich), a fine dramatic singer. She chose this as her operatic retirement performance, in Paris in 1982. Created (1879) by Maria Klimentova, a 21-year-old student at Moscow Conservatory; she had a successful professional career, singing with the Bolshoy for ten years, and she continued to sing the role of Tatyana throughout her career.

Subjects: Opera.

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