Opera Scotland

Eugene Onegin 1986Maly Theatre, Leningrad

Read more about the opera Eugene Onegin

The Edinburgh Festival's Director, Frank Dunlop, was definitely a man of the theatre, and many Festivalls had enjoyed the fruits of his labour since the sixties. He had not previously directed an opera, but the highlight in 1986 was clearly his staging of Weber's Oberon, the pantomime elements of which suited him to a tee. The Maly Theatre from Leningrad were the first Russian opera company to visit the Festival, bringing three productions, at a time when it was quite unthinkable that the Kirov and Bolshoi would be almost frequent visitors within a few years. Two fitted the Festival's Tchaikovsky theme. The Toronto Symphony brought a Stravinsky double-bill, simply staged in the Usher Hall, where The Soldier's Taleand Oedipus Rex came over well. A second theme of the Festival was the Scottish Enlightenment and the works of Walter Scott and James Macpherson ('Ossian'), for which the SNO and conductor Neeme Järvi assembled a fascinating evening that ended with a concert performance of Mehul's Ossian opera Uthal

Non-operatic events included notable performances by Simon Rattle and the CBSO of Dream of Gerontius and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony.


In the Soviet era, the Bolshoi and Kirov companies were regular visitors to London, but never to Scotland - there was no theatre that could accommodate them. The first Soviet opera company to visit the Edinburgh Festival was therefore Leningrad's second company, the Maly. They brought three works - solidly traditional versions of Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, and a recent work by Sergei Slonimsky, based on the life of Maria Stuart. All were directed by Stanislav Gaudasinsky, who was appointed to direct the company in 1980.

It was The Queen of Spades that seemed to represent them at their best. The two mezzos, Irina Bogachova, from the Kirov, and Nina Romanova, were particularly good and they also appeared in Onegin.

Performance Cast

Madame Larina a widowed landowner

L V Kuznetsova

Tatyana Larina's elder daughter

L Y Kazarnovskaya (Aug 20)

Lyudmila Sirenko (Aug 24)

Olga Larina's younger daughter

Nina Romanova

Filipyevna nurse to the sisters

Irina Bogachova

Vladimir Lensky a neighbour, engaged to Olga

L F Ostrovsky

Eugene Onegin Lensky's friend

Alexandr Nyenadovsky (Aug 20)

Nikolai Kopilov (Aug 24)

Zaretsky a retired officer

L I Gladkov

Monsieur Triquet a Frenchman, tutor to the sisters

V A Naparin

Trifon Petrovich a captain

S A Safenin (Aug 20)

S K Bureyev (Aug 24)

Prince Gremin a retired general

Vladimir Ognovenko

Performance DatesEugene Onegin 1986

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

20 Aug, 19.30 24 Aug, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2022

Site by SiteBuddha