Dear Eugene Onegin

How do you write a love letter to an opera about people who write love letters? Friday night at the Orpheum, Opera Omaha premiered the final installment of its 2021-22 season, Eugene Onegin, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The production was absolutely stunning.

Director Rosetta Cucchi, created a triumphant and sensitive presentation of the story. Set in the 1950s instead of in its 19th century roots, epistolary action still propelled much of the thrilling internal journey of the characters. A fascinating foil was added to Tatyana’s character: Brenda Crawley portrayed the silent, older Tatyana, who recalled the tragic events from her youth which unfolded before us as the Onegin tale. Crawley was chilling, somber, deliberate, and highly effective. Alongside Cucchi’s slightly modernized aesthetic, the older Tatyana made the impact of loss, nostalgia, and longing all the more palpable throughout the production.