Tchaikovsky's opera based on Pushkin's verse novel is not one I'd seen before. I knew the story and the film and it is one of those where I find myself perhaps less sympathetic with the characters than I should be - it is a good story but they're all just so terribly Russian about life!
ALthough long, I found this a really easy listen and can't help feeling that it would make a good first opera for anyone unfamiliar with the genre. It is not as poularist as Puccini but the music is excellent and lyrical and there are no grand arias to get in the way. In fact, I found the solo pieces engaging and moving - often quietly introspective, and full of feeling rather than fireworks.
Performances were excellent across the board with Nicholas Lester's Onegin particularly powerful and brooding. I loved the chorus dances during the party and ball scenes and the fun Joe Roche brought to Monsieur Triquet. As always, the WNO orchestra were superb.
The set was simple in concept though grand in scale - I do, however, find the long scene changes behind tabs out of keeping with modern theatre but opera has its own rules and they added little to the 210 minutes (including 2 intervals).
A great evening, genuinely enjoyable theatre