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Production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin arrives in Aberdeen

Eugene Onegin
Eugene Onegin

Scottish Opera is taking on the soaring score of the lyrical Russian Opera for the first time since 1993.

The deeply moving tale of unrequited love and high society life pulls audiences right into the heart of the story, and tenor opera singer Peter Auty is right in the heart of the drama. In the role of Vladimir Lensky, Peter is joined on stage by a cast of international talent under the direction of Oliver Mears.

An iconic Russian opera, the story follows country girl Tatyana, who is besotted with the arrogant Eugene Onegin but is rejected by him. Eugene instead flirts with her older sister, Olga, but this sets off a series of tragic events as Olga is engaged to Eugene’s friend Vladimir Lensky.

As a freelance opera singer, Peter is on the road a lot and has visited Aberdeen a number of times, with shows Carmen and La Boheme. Of the story of Eugene Onegin, he said: “The characters are at a dance and Onegin is bored of society women there and dances with Olga.

“Lensky challenges Onegin to a duel and is killed by his best friend.”

Scotland’s national opera company will also be hosting Eugene Onegin Unwrapped, giving audiences the opportunity to delve further into the show, which took six weeks of cast rehearsals to put together.

“The Russian is challenging in itself, and the singing is a fairly high octave, and we have to dance and sing and I don’t get much of a break on stage,” said Peter, who has spent a lot of his career juggling life on the road.

“I’m on my second wife. In a sense it is quite difficult to hold down a normal life, but the perk is that you see different places so it is nice in that respect.”

After visiting places such as Sydney in Australia, Aberdeen might seem a little different, but Peter will still try to make time to explore while also getting in plenty of sleep – the most important part of staying healthy for an opera singer.

“Scottish Opera insist that we get to the venue the night before the show to make sure we get plenty of sleep,” said Peter.

“Tiredness is a killer. Diet goes out of the window as you are pretty much on a different clock and it is difficult to keep healthy.”

Full of breathtaking music and passionate characters, audiences of all ages will enjoy Eugene Onegin and Peter hopes that younger audiences will trickle in alongside the opera faithful.

“I think the show has a lot of attraction, including a live horse on stage and good reviews,” said Peter.

“It is a fabulous evening of tunes and dancing and has got everything including a full orchestra of 60 to 70 musicians. And fantastic world-class singers you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Eugene Onegin is at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen until Saturday May 12. Eugene Onegin then visits Eden Court in Inverness on Tuesday May 15 until Saturday May 19. See

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