It has been noted that Dimitri Hvorostovsky professes being bored with the role of Onegin. Which is exactly why he is the perfect Onegin.
I snagged his aria on the broadcast the other day with some intention, if I can figure out how and it's not illegal, of posting it and Lisitsian's reading.
Rumor has it the next run will include Mattila and Hampson, which means Very Mixed Feelings here at MFI. Although...
I watched a DVD of Macbeth, possibly my favorite Italian opera, this weekend with Thomas Hampson. He actually sounded pretty good and his fussy acting seemed to have found a good use. Plus it was overshadowed by the very fun over-the-topping of Paoletta Marrccu, who's singing it in DC this Spring (the reason I 'flixed it.) Maroccu doesn't have the world's easiest time with the role, but she doesn't sing it like she's saving herself for a matinee of Boheme the next afternoon, and that's the #1 qualification for singing Lady Gruach. #2 is not sounding like she sang a matinee of Macbeth earlier in the day, and she doesn't, particularly, though she doesn't reach the early Dimitrova standard of a 1:1 ratio of florid and mean. Anyone who's heard her in-house should feel free to tell me exactly how excited I should be. Measured in, um, International Excitement Units. 0=how excited I am about coming to work tomorrow; 10=end of Bush administration or Podles/Klytemnestra.
This didn't end up being very much about Onegin but I'm sure you've figured out by now not to put much stock in my subject lines, or what's beneath them.
Oh wait, I'll add this to bring us back to Onegin: earlier in the week I was asked to recommend a translation of Pushkin's novel in verse. It's a subject I have a hard time not talking to strangers in the street about. In googling around for the spelling of Falen (not Phalen) I found Wikipedia's Onegin page, which has many useful links, including this article by Douglas Hoffstadter in the New York Review of Books (yeah, I'm ordinarily not smart enough to read the NYRB) that talks about the various translations. Naturally enough I am very rah rah Hoffstadter because his predlictions are mine pretty much. Short version: read Falen, avoid Johnston, and don't even dream of going with Nabokov, whose translation is an exercise in snarkyness, or more accurately a novel-length rhetorical gesture on themes of "poetry can't be translated." (Well, it probably can't. But if you don't think so, go stick pins in moths or something and don't waste our time with your unreadable drivel. You might as well have translated it into binary while you were at it.) It's said the accompanying volumes of commentary are extraordinarily enlightening, but I'm sure they'd sit happily next to Falen on the shelf.