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Eugene Onegin Libretto
English Translation

Evgenij Onegin

LARINA (Mezzo soprano)
TATYANA (Soprano)
OLGA (Contralto)
FILIPPEVNA (Mezzo soprano)
LENSKY (Tenor)
GUILLOT (silent role)

peasants, fruit-pickers (female), ball guests



The garden of the Larin country estate. On the left a house with a terrace; on the right, a shady tree. It is early evening.
Madame Larina is sitting under the tree making jam on qa portable stove; Filipyevna is helping her.  The doors leading from the house onto the terrace are open and the voices of the two girls, singing a duet, can be heard coming from within.

Have you not heard, from beyond the grove at night,
the voice that sings of love and sings of sorrow?
When, at the morning hour, the fields lay silent,
the music of the pipe, simple and sad,
have you not heard? …
Then the music of the pipe, simple and sad,
have you not heard? …

They are singing, and I, too,
Used to sing that song in days gone by.
Do you remember? I used to sing it too.

You were young then.

The duet continues as the older women chat and reminisce.

Have you not sighed
On hearing that sweet voice
sing of love
and of its sorrows?
When in the forest …

How I loved Richardson!

You were young then.

Not that I'd read his books.
but in the old days Princess Alina.
my cousin in Moscow,
kept on to me about him.

Yes, I remember.

…  you saw a youth
and met the gaze
of his sunken eyes …

Ah, Grandison! Ah, Richardson!

At that time your husband
was still courting you, but against your will;
you were dreaming of another,
one who pleased you much more
in heart and mind!

… did you not sigh? Did you not sigh? etc.

Ah, Richardson!
Why, he was a fine dandy,
a gambler and an ensign in the Guards!

Years long gone by!

How well I always used to dress!

Always in the latest fashion!

Always in the fashion and becomingly!

Always in the fashion and becomingly!

… Did you not sigh,
when you met the gaze
of his sunken eyes,
did you not sigh, did you not sigh, etc.

But suddenly, without even asking me …

… They married you off without further ado!
Then, to relieve your unhappiness …

Oh, how I cried to begin with!
I nearly left my husband!

… the master came straight here.
Here you busied yourself with the household,
became resigned and settled down.

I busied myself with the household,
became resigned and settled down.

And God be thanked!

Habit is sent us from above
in place of happiness.
Yes, that is how it is:
Habit is sent us from above,
in place of happiness.

Corset, album, Princess Pauline,
the book of sentimental verse,
I forgot them all.

You began
to call the maid Akulka instead of “Céline”
and restored at last …

Ah …

… the quilted dressing gown and mob cap!
Habit is sent us from above,
in place of happiness.
Yes, that is how it is:
habit is sent us from above,
in place of happiness.

But my husband loved me truly …

But the master loved you truly …

… and trusted me unreservedly.

… And trusted you unreservedly.

Habit is sent us from above,
in place of happiness.

The singing of an approaching band of peasants is heard in the distance.

My swift little feet ache from walking.

... Ache from walking.

My white hands ache from working.

… Ache from working.
My ardent heart aches from caring.
I don't know what to do,
how to forget my sweetheart.
My swift little feet, etc.
The peasant band enters, the leaders bearing a decorated sheaf.
Greetings, your ladyship,
greetings, benefactress!
We come before your Grace
bearing the decorated sheaf!
The harvest is all gathered in!

So, that's excellent. Now make merry!
I'm pleased to see you all.
Sing us something jolly!

If that's what you'd like, little mother!
Come, let's entertain the lady.
Now, girls, stand in a ring!
Come along now, all get ready!

The girls form a circle and dance around the sheaf. During the singing, Tatyana and Olga come out onto the balcony.

One day across the bridge, the little bridge,
along the hazel planks,
Vayinu, vayinu, vayinu, vayinu,
along the hazel planks,
came a fine young fellow,
fresh and ruddy as a raspberry,
Vayinu …
fresh and ruddy as a raspberry.
Over his shoulder he carries a cudgel,
under one coat-skirt he carries bagpipes,
Vayinu …
under one coat-skirt he carries bagpipes,
under the other is a fiddle.
Now just you guess, my dearest,
Vayinu …
Now just you guess, my dearest.
The sun has set, aren't you asleep, then?
Come out yourself or else send out,
Vayinu …
Come out yourself or else send out
Sasha or Masha
or dear little Parasha,
Vayinu …
Send dear little Parasha,
Sasha, etc.
Parashenka came out,
and had a talk with her sweetheart
Vayinu …
had a talk with her sweetheart:
“Don't grumble at me, my dearest,
I've come out just as I was,
in my shabby little blouse
and my short skirt.
Vayinu …
In my shabby little blouse
and my short skirt!
Don't you grumble at me, etc.
Vayinu, etc.

a book in her hand
How I love to dream when I hear these songs,
and float away
somewhere, somewhere far off! 

Ah, Tanya, Tanya!
You're always dreaming!
But I am quite unlike you,
I feel merry when I hear singing.
dancing a few steps
'Across the bridge, the little bridge,
along the hazel planks …'
I was not made for melancholy singing,
I do not like to dream in silence,
nor, on the balcony in the dark night,
to sigh, to sigh,
to sigh from the depths of my soul.
Why should I sigh, when full of happiness,
my youthful days flow gently by?
I am carefree and full of fun,
and everyone calls me a child!
For me life will always, always be sweet,
and I shall retain, as I always have,
light-hearted confidence,
be playful, carefree, merry!
Light-hearted confidence,  etc.
I was not made for melancholy sighing, etc.

Well, my frolicsome one,
merry and playful little bird that you are,
I expect you're ready to dance now,
isn't that so?

Filipyevna and Tatyana have moved away from the others.

Tanyusha! Hey, Tanyusha!
Is anything the matter?
You're not ill, are you?

No, nurse, I’m quite well.

to the peasants
Well, my dears, thank you for the songs.
Go over to the annexe.
to Filipyevna
Filipyevna , see that they have some wine.
Goodbye, my friends!

Goodbye, little mother!

They leave, accompanied by Filipyevna.
Tatyana sits down on the steps of the terrace and becomes engrossed in her book.

Mama, just look at Tanya!

What is it? Indeed, my dear,
you're very pale.

I always am,
don't worry, Mama!
It's very interesting, this book I'm reading.

Is that why you're so pale?

Why yes, of course, Mama!
The account of the torments
suffered by these true lovers moves me;
I'm so sorry for them, poor things!
Oh, how they suffer, how they suffer!

That's enough, Tanya!
I used to get upset, just like you,
when I read such books.
It's only fiction. As the years went by,
I came to see that there are no heroes in real life.
Now I take things calmly.

You shouldn't take things quite so calmly!
Look, you've forgotten to take off your apron!
Supposing Lensky should arrive, what then?
Mme Larina hastily removes her apron.
Listen! Someone's coming, it's him!

It is indeed!

looking down from the terrace
He's not alone …

Who could it be?

hurriyng in
Madam, the young gentleman Lensky has arrived.
Mr. Onegin is with him!

Oh, quick, I'll run away!

restraining her
Where are you off to, Tanya?
People will talk!
Gracious, my cap's on crooked!

Have them shown in, then!

to Filipyevna
Quick, ask them to come in!

Filipyevna bustles out. The others, in extreme excitement, prepare to receive the guests. Lensky and Onegin are shown in. Lensky kisses Mme Larina’s hand and bows politely to the girls.

Mesdames! I've taken the liberty
of bringing a friend along.
May I introduce Onegin, my neighbour.

I'm very honoured.

rather flustered
Oh please … We're delighted to see you …
Do sit down!
These are my daughters.

I'm very happy to meet you!

Come into the house …
Or perhaps you'd prefer
to stay out of doors?
I beg you,
don't stand on ceremony; we’re neighbours,
so there's no need for formality!

It's delightful here! I love
this garden, so shady and secluded,
one is so comfortable here!

That's splendid!
I'll go and see to things in the house
to the girls
You entertain our guests.
I won't be long.

She leaves, making a sign to Tatyana not to be shy.
Lensky and Onegin walk over to the right, conversing;
Tatyana and Olga stand on the opposite side, soliloquizing.

Tell me, which is Tatyana?
I'm very curious to know.

Why, the one who is sad
and silent, like Svetlana!

Can you really be in love with the younger one?


I should have chosen the other,
had I been, like you, a poet!

My waiting is over, my eyes have been opened!
I know, I know that this is he!

Oh, I knew, I knew that the appearance
of Onegin would make
a great impression on everyone
and give the neighbours plenty to talk about!
There will be no end to the conjectures …

Ah, my friend …

There's no life in Olga's features,
she's just like a Van Dyck madonna.
Her face is as round and rosy …

… wave and rock,
poetry and prose, ice and flame,
are not as different as we are!

Now, alas, my days and nights
and burning, solitary dreams,
will always be filled with his dear image!

Everyone will start to whisper,
joke, judge - not without malice!
There will be no end to the conjectures,  etc.

Wave and rock, ice and flame …
… poetry and prose, ice and flame,
are not as different as we are …

… as that stupid moon
on that dull horizon!

Ceaselessly, with magical power,
everything will speak to me of him,
my soul will be seared with the fire of love!

… Joke, and judge - not without malice -
and appoint him Tanya's suitor!

… in our contrasting natures!

Her face is as round and rosy …

Wave and rock, ice and fire,
poetry and prose …

… as that stupid moon
on that dull horizon!

Everything will speak to me of him,
my soul …

There will be no end to the conjectures,
and they'll appoint him …

… are not as different as we are,
in our contrasting natures!

I should have chosen the other!

… will he seared by love's fire!

… Tanya's suitor!

Lensky approaches Olga. Onegin looks nonchalantly  at Tatyana, who is standing with her eyes cast down; then he approaches her and engages her in conversation.

to Olga
How happy, how happy I am!
I see you once again!

We saw each other yesterday, I think!

Oh, yes,
But all the same, a whole long day
has gone by since we saw each other last!
An eternity!

What a dreadful word!
Eternity, just one day …

Yes, a dreadful word,
but not for my love!

Olga and Lensky stroll off into the garden.

to Tatyana
Tell me,
is it not dreadfully boring for you
here in the depths of the country,
which, though lovely, is so far away?
I don't suppose you get much amusement.

I read a great deal …

It's true
that reading provides abundant food
for thought and feeling,
but one can't sit over a book the whole time!

I daydream sometimes, strolling in the garden.

What do you dream about?

Dreams have been my companions
since my earliest days.

I see vou're a terrible dreamer!
I used to be the same at one time.

They stroll away; Olga and Lensky return.

I love you,
I love you, Olga, as only
a poet's frantic heart
can still be fated to love.
Always, everywhere, one dream alone,
one constant longing,
one insistent sadness!
As a boy I was captivated by you,
when heartache was still unknown;
I witnessed, with tender emotion,
your childish games.
Beneath the grove's protecting boughs
I shared those games.
I love you,
I love you with that love
known only to a poet's heart.
For you alone I dream.
for you alone I long,
you are my joy and my suffering.
I love you,
I love you, eternally, and nothing -
not the chilling distance,
the hour of parting, nor pleasure's clamour -
can quench that heart
aflame with love's virgin fire!

In rural tranquillity …
… we grew up together;
and do you remember how our parents
destined us, even as children, for cach other?

I love you! …
I love you, I love you!

Mme Larina and Filipyevna come out onto the terrace. It has grown darker, and within minutes night will have fallen.

Ah, there you are!
But wherever has Tanya got to?

She must be strolling by the lake with our guest;
I'll go and call her.

And tell her from me
that it's time to come indoors
and let our hungry guests take pot-luck at table!
Filipyevna leaves. To Lensky.
Please come in.

We're coming

Mme Larina, Olga and Lensky enter the house. Tatyana and Onegin return, followed by Filipyevna who is trying to eavesdrop on their conversation.  Tatyana is still painfully shy.

My uncle was a man of the highest principels;
when he finally took to his bed
he forced the respect of all
and it was the best thing he could do.
May others profit from his example!
But, my God, what a bore it was,
sitting by an invalid day and night,
never daring to move a step away!

following them at a distance
There goes my little dove,
with meekly drooping head, downcast eyes.
She's dread fully shy!
I wonder!
Suppose she's taken a fancy to this new young man? …

She enters the house, thoughtfully shaking her head.

Tatyana's room. It is very simply furnished with oldfashioned  white wooden chairs, a chest of drawers with a mirror, a bookshelf beside the bed and a table with writing materials beneath the window.
Tatyana, in a white nightdress, is sitting before her mirror, lost in thought. Filipyevna stands beside her.

Well, I've let my tongue run on!
It's time for bed, Tanya,
I'll wake you early for mass;
go to sleep quickly.

I’m not sleepy, nurse, it's so stuffy in here!
Open the window and come and sit by me.

Filipyevna opens the window and sits on a chair near Tatyana.

Why, Tanya, what's the matter with you?

I'm bored.
Let's talk about the old days.

But what about them, Tanya?
I used to know any number
of old tales and fairy stories
about evil spirits and beautiful maidens,
but now my memory's gone:
I've forgotten all I knew, that's a fact!
I'm getting old.

Tell me, nurse,
about your past:
were you in love when you were young?

Get along with you, Tanya! In those days
one didn't talk of love,
or my late mother-in-law
would have chased me from the face of the earth!

Then how did you get married, nurse?

It was God's will, I suppose! My Vanya
was even younger than me, my love,
and I was only thirteen!
For a week or two the marriage broker
kept calling on my parents, and finally
my father gave his consent.
I cried bitterly with fright;
I wept when they undid my maiden plait
and led me with songs to the church.
And I found myself installed in a strange family …
But you're not listening to me!

Oh nurse, nurse, I'm consumed with longing,
I’m all upset, my dear;
I’m ready to burst into tears.

You’re not well, my child;
Lord have mercy on us!
Let me sprinkle you with holy water.
You're feverish.

I'm not ill,
I … Do you know, nurse, … I'm … in love …
Leave me, leave me …
I’m in love …

But of course …

Go, leave me alone.
Give me a pen and some paper, nurse,
and move the table up; I'll soon go to bed.

Filipyevna does as Tatyana has asked, then shuts the window, draws the curtains and kisses her good night.

Good night.

Sleep well

She goes out. Tatyana remains sunk in thought, then rises in a state of great agitation with an expression of determination on her face.

Let me perish, but first
let me summon, in dazzling hope,
bliss as yet unknown.
Life's sweetness is known to me!
I drink the magic potion of desire!
I am beset by visions!
Everywhere, everywhere I look,
I see my fatal tempter!
Wherever I look, I see him!

She goes to the writing table, sits down, writes, then pauses.

No, that's all wrong!
I'll begin again!

she tears up the unfinished letter

Ah, what's the matter with me! I'm all on fire!
I don't know how to begin!

She writes, then pauses and reads it over.

'I write to you, - and then?
What more is there to say?
Now, I know, it is within your power
to punish me with disdain!
But if you nourish one grain of pity
for my unhappy lot,
you will not abandon me.
At first I wished to remain silent;
then, believe me, you would never
have known my shame,

She puts the letter aside.

O yes, I swore to lock within my breast
this avowal of a mad and ardent passion.
Alas, I have not the strength to subdue my heart!
Come what may, I am prepared!
I will confess all! Courage!
He shall know all!

She writes.

'Why, oh why did you visit us?
Buried in this remote countryside,
I should never have known you,
nor should I have known this torment.
The turbulence of a youthful heart,
calmed by time, who knows? -
most likely I would have found another,
have proved a faithful wife
and virtuous mother…'

She becomes lost in thought, then rises suddenly.

Another! No, not to any other in the world
would I have given my heart!
It is decreed on high,
It is the will of heaven: I am yours!
My whole life has been a pledge
of this inevitable encounter;
I know this: God sent you to me,
you are my keeper till the grave!
You appeared before me in my dreams;
as yet unseen, you were already dear,
your wondrous gaze filled me with longing,
your voice resounded in my heart
long ago … no, it was no dream!
As soon as you arrived, I recognized you,
I almost swooned, began to blaze with passion,
and to myself I said: 'Tis he!
'Tis he!
I know it! I have heard you …
Have you not spoken to me in the silence
when I visited the poor
or sought in prayer some solace
for the anguish of my soul?
And just this very moment,
was it not you, dear vision,
that flamed in the limpid darkness,
stooped gently at my bedside
and with joy and love
whispered words of hope?

She returns to the table and sits down again to write.

'Who are you'? My guardian angel
or a wily tempter?
Put my doubts at rest.
Maybe this is all an empty dream,
the self?deception of an inexperienced soul,
and something quite different is to be …'

She rises again and paces pensively to and fro.

But so be it! My fate
henceforth I entrust to you;
in tears before you,
your protection I implore,
I implore.
Imagine: I am all alone here!
No one understands me!
I can think no more,
and must perish in silence!
I wait for you,
I wait for you! Speak the word
to revive my heart's fondest hopes
or shatter this oppressive dream
with, alas, the scorn,
alas, the scorn I have deserved!

She goes swiftly to the table, hurriedly finishes the letter and signs and seals it.

Finished! It's too frightening to read over,
I swoon from shame and fear,
but his honour is my guarantee
and in that I put my trust!

She goes to the window and draws aside the curtains. The room is immediately flooded with a rosy dawnlight. A shepherd's pipe is heard in the distance.

Ah, night is past,
everything is awake …
and the sun is rising.
The shepherd is playing his pipe …
Everything is peaceful.
While I … I …

The door opens softly and Filipyevna enters the room.

It's time, my child! Get up!
Why, you're up already, my pretty one!
My little early bird!
I was so anxious last night …
Well, my child, thank God you're well!
Not a trace of last night's upset.
Your cheeks are red as poppies!

Oh, nurse, be a darling …

Of course, pet, tell me what you want.

Don't think … truly … don't suspect …
but you see … oh, don't say no!

My dearest, as God's my witness!

Then, send your grandson, on the quiet,
with this note to O … to that …
to our neighbour, and tell him
not to breathe a word
and not to mention my name.

To whom, my dear?
I'm not as bright as I was!
We've lots of neighbours round about,
do you want me to go through them all?
Which one do you mean? Talk sense!

How dense you are, nurse!

Dear heart, I'm getting old!
I’m old; my wits are dull, Tanya;
but in the old days I was bright enough.
In the old days, one word from the master …

Oh, nurse, nurse, none of that matters!
What do I want with your wits?
You see nurse, it's about a letter …

Well, all right, all right!

What do I want with your wits, nurse …

Don't be angry, dear heart!
You know how slow I am.

… To Onegin …

All right, all right: I understand!

… to Onegin …
… with a letter …
… to Onegin, send your grandson, nurse!

Well, well, don't be angry, dear heart!
You know I'm slow!
… Gracious, why have you turned pale again?

It's nothing, nurse, really nothing!
Go and send your grandson!

The nurse takes the letter, and after some hesitation, finally signifies that she understands and leaves.
Tatyana sits at the table and, resting her elbows upon it, again becomes lost in thought.

Another part of the garden of the Larin estate. Thick lilac and acacia bushes, neglected flower beds and an old wooden bench. Servant girls, picking fruit in the background, sing as they work.

Pretty maidens,
dear companions,
come on out to play, girls!
Trip merrily, my friends,
and sing a song,
a favourite song
to lure a handsome lad
to join our dance!
When the handsome lad is lured,
when he approaches us,
let's run away, my friends,
pelting him with cherries,
with cherries, with berries,
with redcurrants!
Don't you come eavesdropping
on our favourite songs,
don't you come spying
on our girlish play!

Pretty maidens, etc.

The servant girls move off, their singing dies away.
Tatyana enters, running quickly, and sinks exhausted onto the bench.

He's here! He's here, Eugene!
Dear God! Dear God, what must he have thought?
What will he say? Oh why
did I obey my aching heart alone,
and, lacking all self control,
write him that letter!
Indeed, my heart now tells me
that my fatal tempter
will only laugh at me!
Oh my God! How miserable I am,
how contemptible!
Footsteps … they are drawing closer …
Yes, it is he, it is he!

Onegin enters. Tatyana leaps to her feet and stands with lowered head as he approaches.

You wrote to me.
Don't deny it. I have read
the avowal of a trusting heart,
the outpouring of an innocent love;
your candour touched me deeply.
It has stirred
feelings long since dormant.
I won't commend you for this,
But I will repay you
with an equally guileless avowal.
Hear my confession,
then judge me as you will!

collapsing again onto the bench
O God! How humiliating and how painful!

If I wished to pass my life
within the confines of the family circle,
and a kindly fate had decreed for me
the role of husband and father,
then, most like, I would not choose
any other bride than you.
But I was not made for wedded bliss,
it is foreign to my soul,
your perfections are vain,
I am quite unworthy of them.
Believe me, I give you my word,
marriage would be a torment for us.
No matter how much I loved you,
habit would kill that love.
Judge what a thorny bed of roses
Hymen would prepare for us,
and, perhaps, to be endured at length!
One cannot return to dreams and youth,
I cannot renew my soul!
I love you with a brother's love,
a brother's love
or, perhaps, more than that!
Perhaps, perhaps more than that!
Listen to me without getting angry,
more than once will a girl exchange
one passing fancy for another.
Learn to control your feelings; …
… Not everyone will understand you as I do.
Inexperience leads to disaster!

in the distance
Pretty maidens,
dear companions,
come on out to play, girls! …
… Trip it merrily, my friends.
When a handsome lad is lured,
when he approaches us,
let's run away, my friends,
pelting him with cherries.
Don't you come eavesdropping,
don't you come spying
on our girlish play!

The voices of the servant girls die away. Onegin offers Tatyana his arm; after giving him a long, imploring look, she rises mechanically, accepts his arm and they leave slowly.


The principal reception?room  of the Larins' house, where a ball is in progress. The room is brightly lit by a central  chandelier and candles in sconces along the wall. Uniformed officers are among the guests. As the curtain rises, the younger people are dancing a waltz while the older ones watch admiringly. Onegin is dancing with Tatyana and Lensky with Olga. Mme Larina bustles about with the air of an anxious hostess.

Well, what a surprise!
We never expected
a military band!
Revelry - and to spare!
A long time has passed
since we were so entertained!
A marvellous party,
would you not all agree? etc.
A long time has passed
since we were so entertained!
A marvellous party,
would you not all agree?
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
What a lovely surprise!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
A splendid surprise for us all!

On our estates we don't often meet with
the merry sparkle of a jolly ball.
The hunt is our only amusement,
dear to us is its hubbub and stir.

Amusement indeed! The whole day they dash
over hill and dale, marshland and scrub!
They tire themselves out, then collapse into bed,
and that's all the amusement we poor women get!

surrounding Captain Buyanov
Oh, Trifon Petrovich
how kind you are, really!
We're so grateful to you …

Not at all …
The pleasure is all mine!

We’ll enjoy the dancing so much!

I mean to enjoy it too.
Let’s begin, then!

Onegin is still dancing with Tatyana. The other couples stop dancing and watch them.


Just look there! Just look!
The lovebirds are dancing together!

High time, too ...

What a bridegroom!

How sorry one is for Tanya!

He'll marry her …

… and then play the tyrant!
Thy say he's a gambler!
Onegin, passing, overhears the conversation.
He’s dreadfully uncouth, his behaviour's quite mad,
he won't kiss the ladies' hands,
he’s a freemason, he drinks
only red wine - by the tumblerful!

There's public opinion for you! I've heard
more than enough of this repulsive
tittle?tattle! It serves me right,
all his! Why did I ever come
to this stupid ball? Why?
I won't forgive Vladimir
This service! I'll
flirt with Olga …
That'll make him mad!
Here she is! …
Olga passes by with Lensky
May I have the pleasure?

Olqa seems undecided.

You promised me this one!

You must have made a mistake!

Olga and Onegin dance: he plies her with exaggerated attentions to which she responds with evident gratification.

Why, what's, this!
I can’t believe my eyes!
Heavens, what's happening to me!

as they dance
A marvellous party!
What a surprise!
A marvellous party!
What a surprise!
What a delicious treat! rep.
Revelry - and to spare!
A marvellous party!
What a surprise!
We never expected
A military band!
Revelry - and to spare!
A long time has passed
since we were so entertained!
A marvellous party! Isn't that so?
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
What a surprise!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
Don't you agree?
A marvellous party,
don't you agree?
Indeed, we never expected
a military band!
A marvellous party, etc.
Revelry - and to spare!
A marvellous party!

As soon as the dance ends, Lensky approaches Olga.

Have I deserved such ridicule from you?
Oh, Olga, how cruelly you treat me!
What have I done?

I can't see hat I've done anything wrong!

Every écossaise, every waltz
you have danced with Onegin!
I asked you, but was refused!

Vladimir, this is ridiculous,
you're angry about nothing at all!

What! Nothing!
How could I be indifferent
while you laughed and flirted with him?
He was leaning over you and squeezing
your hand! I saw it all!

That's all stuff and nonsense!
You have no reason to be jealous,
we were only chatting;
he's very nice!

Nice, even!
Oh, Olga, you don't love me!

How strange you are!

You don't love me!
Will you dance
the cotillon with me'?

Onegin approaches them.

No, with me.
You promised me, didn't you'?

And I'll keep my promise!
to Lensky
That's your punishment
for being jealous!


to Lensky
Not for the world!
to Onegin

All the young ladies are coming this way with Triquet.

Who is he?

A Frenchman, he lives at the Kharlikov's.

Monsieur Triquet, Monsieur Triquet,
please sing us some verses!

I'as ze verses wiz me.
But where, I ask, is Mademoiselle?
'E must be 'ere in front of me,
for the verses were written for her!

Here she is! Here she is!

The guests form a circle, placing Tatyana in the middle, where, despite her embarrassment and attempts to escape, she has to stand while M. Triquet adresses his couplets to her.

'Ere is ze queen zis day.
Mesdames, I will begin.
Please to not interrupt me.
As guests, let us pay tribute
to the charm and beauty
of the one whose name-day we celebrate.
Her sweet, enchanting countenance
sheds radiance all around.
What a pleasure, what a joy to see her!
Shine upon us forever, beautiful Tatyana! rep.

Bravo, bravo, bravo, Monsieur Triquet!
Your verses are wonderful and very, very nicely sung!

May destiny fulfil her every wish,
may joy, amusement and pleasure
ever wreathe her lips in smiles!
May she be like a star in our country's firmament,
ever shining and casting light,
illuminating our days and nights.
Shine upon us forever, beautiful Tatyana! rep.

Bravo, bravo, bravo, Monsieur Triquet!
Your verses are wonderful and very, very nicely sung!

Tatyana curtsies confusedly and Triquet hands her the verses with an exaggerated bow.

Ladies and gentlemen, take your places, please
the cotillon's about to begin!
If you please!

The Captain offers Tatyana his arm and leads off the dance. Onegin and Olga dance together for a while, then Onegin escorts her back to her seat. Lensky is standing gloomily behind them. Onegin turns to Lensky, pretending he has only just noticed him there.

Aren't you dancing, Lensky?
You're standing around like some Childe Harold!
What's up with you?

With me? Nothing.
I’m admiring you;
What a fine friend you are!

Olga is chosen for a figure in the mazurka.

Well, well!
I didn't expect such an avowal!
What are you sulking about?

Me, sulking'? Not at all!
I’m admiring how, with artful words
and man-of-the-world  chatter,
you turn heads and disturb the peace of mind
of all the young girls!
The guests gradually leave off dancing as they become aware of the quarrel.
Obviously, Tatyana is not enough
for you. Out of love for me,
you evidently want to ruin Olga,
upset her peace of mind, and then
have a good laugh at her expense!
Oh, how admirable!…

What? You must be mad!

You insult me, and then you call me
a madman!

Everybody stops dancing. The guests surround the quarrelling men.

What's up? What's going on there?
What's the matter?

Onegin! You're no longer my friend!
I no longer wish
to be on close terms with you!
I … despise you!

Here's an unexpected turn of events!
What a quarrel has blown up!
This is no laughing matter!

drawing Lensky to one side
Listen, Lensky, you're wrong,
you're wrong!
We've attracted enough attention with our quarrel!
I haven't disturbed anyone's peace of mind yet,
and neither, I admit, have I any intention of doing so!

Then why were you
squeezing her hand
and whispering to her?
She laughed and blushed!
What were you saying to her?

Listen, - this is ridiculous,
everyone's crowding round us!

What do I care?
You've insulted me
and I demand satisfaction!

What's it all about? Tell us.
Tell us what has happened.

I have simply asked Mr. Onegin
to explain his behaviour to me!
He does not wish to do so, so I
ask him to accept my challenge.

hurrying up
Dear God! In our house!
Spare us, spare us!

In your house! In your house!
In your house, as in a golden dream,
my childhood years flowed gently by!
In your house I first tasted
the joys of a pure, serene love!
But today, I have learnt …
… something different,
I have learnt that life is no romantic novel,
that honour is but a sound, friendship an empty …

In the depths of my heart
I am displeased with myself.
With this shy and tender passion

…  word,
a humiliating, pathetic lie,
yes,a humiliating, pathetic, yes,
pathetic lie!

… I've trifled too thoughtlessly.
Loving the youth with all my heart,
I should have shown myself

I am stunned, I cannot
understand Eugene; I am tormented
by pangs of jealousy!

Poor Lensky!

Oh, my heart is torn with anguish!
Like an ice?cold hand …

I fear that after all our revelry,
the night may end with a duel!

… impervious to vulgar prejudice,
a man of honour and good sense.

Poor young man!

… it clutches at my heart
painfully, cruelly!

I have trifled too thoughtlessly!

I have learnt here that …
… a young girl
may be beautiful as an angel, sweet
and lovely as the day, but in her heart, in her heart
as wicked and sly as a fiend!

Can it be, that after such revelry,
their quarrel will end our day with a duel?
Young men are so hot?blooded!
They argue, they quarrel
and soon there's a fight!
They argue, etc.
… Will their quarrel end in a duel?
Young men are so hot?blooded!
They always act on impulse!

Ah, I am lost, I am lost!
I feel it in my heart,
but destruction by him is dear to me!
I am doomed, I am doomed, my heart
told me as much,
I dare not, I cannot complain!

Oh, men are so hot?blooded,
They always act on impulse ;
they can't avoid quarrelling, etc.
His heart is consumed with jealousy,
but I'm not in the least to blame,
not in the least!

All, young men are so hot?blooded!
They always act on impulse,
they can't avoid quarrelling, etc.
I’m afraid that, after all the revelry,
the night will end in a duel!
Young men are so hot?blooded!

In my innermost heart,
I am displeased with myself, etc.
I ought to have shown myself …

Ah, young men arc such hot?heads!
Not a moment passes without some quarrel!
They argue, they quarrel,
and suddenly they're ready for a fight!

Ah, why complain?
He cannot make me happy.
I am doomed, my heart tells me as much,
I know it!

Ah, I'm not the least bit to blame!
Men can't avoid quarrelling.
They argue, they quarrel, etc.

Oh no! You are innocent, my angel,
you are innocent, innocent, my angel!
He is a vile, crafty, heartless betrayer!
He shall be punished!

… not the plaything of vulgar prejudice,
not an excitable boy,
but a grown man - I am to blame!

Can it be, that after such revelry,
their quarrel will end our day with a duel? etc.

Ah, I am doomed, etc.
I dare not complain!

Ah, men are such hot?heads, etc.
I am not in the least to blame, not in the least!

Ah, young men are such hot?heads, etc.
Young men are such hot-heads!

At the bottom of my heart,
I am displeased with myself!
But there's nothing to be done -
Now I must answer
the insult!

I am at your service.
I have heard you out: you're mad, you're mad!
And you shall be taught a lesson!

Till tomorrow, then!
We shall see, who will teach whom a lesson!
All right, I'm mad, but you,
you are a dishonourable  seducer!

Hold your tongue, or I'll kill you!

Onegin hurls himself upon Lensky, but the two men are separated and restrained. Onegin moves to one side and turns his back. Tatyana is in tears.

What a scandal! We won't allow them
to fight a duel, shed blood in a dispute!
We just won't allow them to leave.
Hold them, hold them, hold them!
Indeed, they shall not leave the house!

Vladimir, calm down, I implore you!

Oh Olga, Olga! Farewell for ever!

Lensky rushes out; Onegin also leaves quickly. Olga runs after Lensky, but falls fainting into her mother's arms.

There'll be a duel!

A rustic water-mill on the banks of a wooded stream. Early morning; the sun has barely risen. It is winter. Lensky is sitting under a tree, lost in thought. His second, Zaretsky, is pacing up and down.

What's this?
It seems your opponent hasn't appeared.

He'll be here any minute.

Even so, it strikes, me as rather strange
that he isn't here; it's seven o'clock.
I thought he'd be waiting for us!

Zaretsky goes over to the mill and enters into conversation with the miller, who has just appeared at his door.

Where, oh where have you gone,
golden days of my youth?
What does the coming day hold for me?
My gaze searches in vain;
all is shrouded in darkness!
No matter: Fate's law is just.
Should I fall, pierced by the arrow,
or should it fly wide,
‘tis all one; both sleeping and waking
have their appointed hour.
Blessed is the day of care,
blessed, too, the coming of darkness!
Early in the morning the dawn-light gleams
and the day begins to brighten,
while I, perhaps, will enter
the mysterious shadow of the grave!
And the memory of a young poet
will be engulfed by Lethe's sluggish stream.
The world will forget me; but you,
You! … Olga …
will you come, maid of beauty,
to shed a tear on the untimely urn
and think: he loved me!
To me alone he devoted
the sad dawn of his storm?tossed life!
Oh, Olga, I loved you,
to you alone I devoted
the sad dawn of my storm?tossed life!
Oh, Olga, I loved you!
My heart's beloved, my desired one,
come, oh come! My desired one,
come, I am your betrothed, come, come!
I wait for you, my desired one,
come, come; I am your betrothed!
Where, where, where have you gone,
golden days, golden days of my youth?

Zaretsky returns to Lensky.

Ah, here they are!
But who's your friend with?
I can't make it out!

Onegin comes in with his manservant, Guillot, who carries the pistols.

I ask your pardon.
I'm a little late.

Forgive me! Where's your second?
Where duelling's concerned, I’m particular pedantic;
I heartily approve of method
and I don't allow a man
to be stretched out cold just anyhow,
but according to the strict rules of the art,
following the old tradition.

For which we must praise you!
My second?
This is he: Monsieur Guillot.
I don't envisage any objection
to my choice;
although he's not well known,
still, he's a decent fellow, of course.

Guillot bows deeply, Zaretsky returns his bow coldly.

Well? Shall we begin?

Let's begin, if you please!

The two seconds withdraw to one side to discuss the conditions of the duel. Lensky and Onegin stand with their backs to each other, waiting.

Enemies! Is it long since the thirst
for blood drove us apart?
Is it so long since we shared everything,
our meals, our thoughts, our leisure,
as friends together? Now in anger,
like hereditary enemies,
we silently and coldbloodedly
prepare to destroy each other.
Oh, should we not burst out laughing
before we stain our hands with blood,
and should we not part friends?
No! No! No! No!

The seconds have loaded the pistols and in measured the distance. Zaretsky separates the principals and hands them their pistols. Everything is done in silence. Guillot, in embarrassment, hides behind a tree.

Now advance!

He claps his hands three times. The adversaries take four steps forward. Onegin raises his pistol. As he does so, Lensky begins to take aim. Onegin fires. Lensky falls. Zaretsky and Onegin rush towards him. Zaretsky examines him intently.



Aghast, Onegin clasps his head in his hands.


A salon adjoining the ballroom of a nobleman's mansion in St. Petersburg. A ball is just beginning with the introductory polonaise, and couples pass through, dancing, from time to time. When it ends, several seat themselves or stand around, conversing.

Onegin is standing near the wall, alone.

I'm bored here too.
The brilliance and bustle of society
cannot dispel my constant
Having killed my best friend in a duel,
having no aim, no work,
I have reached the age of twenty?six
wearied by the idleness of leisure;
without employment, wife or occupation,
I've found nothing to which I could devote myself!
Restlessness held me in thrall,
the desire for constant change of scene,
an extremely vexing trait,
a cross that few would choose!
I left my country estates,
the solitude of woods and fields,
where a bloodstained ghost
confronted me every day!
I began to travel, aimlessly,
going where fancy led me …
And what happened? I found, to my disgust,
that travel was boring, too!
I returned and went, like Chatsky,
straight from a ship to a ball!

The guests dance an écossaise. As it ends, Prince Gremin enters with Tatyana on his arm, richly but very tastefully dressed. She seats herself on a sofa. Guests come up to her continually and greet her with deference.

Princess Gremina! Look!
Which is she?
Over there, look!
The one who's just sat down by that table.
Her serene beauty is delightful!

examining Tatyana intently through his lorgnette
Can that be Tatyana? Surely … no! …
What? From the backwoods of that village in the steppes?
It's impossible! Impossible!
And how unaffected, how dignified,
how perfectly at ease!
She bears herself like a queen!

Tatyana turns to those near her and indicates with a glance that she is referring to Onegin, who has just been approached by Prince Gremin.

Tell me, who is that … over there with my husband?
I can't quite make him out.

One who affects eccentricity
a strange, extravagant melancholic.
He's been travelling abroad …
And now, here's Onegin back with us!


Do you know him?

He's a neighbour of ours in the country.
O God, help me to hide
the dreadful tumult in my heart! …

to Prince Gremin, indicating Tatyana
Tell me, prince, do you happen to know
who that is over there in the scarlet turban
talking to the Spanish ambassador?

Ah! It’s some time since vou were last in society!
Wait a moment, and I'll present you.

But who is she?

My wife!

So you're married? I didn't know!
Have you been married long?

A bout two years.

To whom?

To Larin's daughter …


Have you met?

I'm a neighbour of theirs!

Love is no respecter of age,
its transports bless alike
those in the bloom of youth
yet unacquainted with the world
and the grey?headed warrior
tempered by experience!
Onegin, I shan't disguise the fact
that I love Tatyana to distraction!
My life was slipping drearily away;
she appeared and brightened it
like a ray of sunlight in a stormy sky,
and brought me life and youth, yes, youth and happiness!
Among these sly, poor?spirited,
foolish, pampered children,
these scoundrels both absurd and boring,
dull, fractious arbiters,
among the pious coquettes
and sycophantic slaves,
amid affable, modish hypocrisy
courteous, affectionate  infidelities,
amid the icy censure
of cruel?hearted vanity,
amid the vexing vacuity
of calculation, thought and conversation,
she shines like a star
in the night's darkest hour, in a pure, clear sky,
and to me she always appears
in the radiant,
radiant nimbus of an angel!

Love is no respecter of age, etc.

So come, I'll present you to her.
He leads Onegin to Tatyana.
My dear, allow me to introduce
an old friend and relation of mine,

Onegin bows deeply. Tatyana responds simply and with no apparent trace of embarrassment.

I’m delighted.
We've met before.

In the country! Yes … a longtime ago.

Where have you come from?
From our parts perhaps?

Oh, no! I've been abroad
for quite a time.

How long have you been back?

Only today.

to Prince Gremin
My dear, I'm tired.

Tatyana leaves on Prince Gremin's arm, returning the greetinngs of the guests. Onegin follows her with his eyes.

Can this really be the same Tatyana
to whom, tête-à-tête,
in the depths of a distant countryside,
I, in a fine moral outburst,
once read a lecture on principles?
The same girl, whom
in her humble station I disdained?
Was this really her,
so poised, so self-possessed?
But what's the matter with me?
I must be dreaming!
What is stirring in the depths
of my cold and slothful heart?
Vexation, vanity or, once again,
that preoccupation of youth – love?
Alas, there's no doubt, I'm in love,
in love like a boy, a passionate youth!

Let me perish, but first
let me summon, in dazzling hope
the magic poison of desire,
intoxicate myself with dreams!
Everywhere, everywhere I look
I see that beloved, desired image!
Wherever I look, I see her!

The drawing room of Prince Gremin's house in St. Petersburg.

Tatyana, in elegant morning dress, enters holding a letter.

O, how distressed I am!
Once more Onegin has crossed my path
like a relentless apparition!
His burning glance
has troubled my heart
and reawakened my dormant passion
so that I feel like a young girl again
and as if nothing had ever parted us!

She weeps.

Onegin appears at the door. He stands for a moment gazing passionately at the weeping Tatyana, then runs to her and falls to his knees at her feet. She looks at him, evincing neither anger nor surprise, then motions him to rise.

Enough, get up, I must
talk to you frankly.
Onegin, do you remember that time
when, in the avenue in our garden,
fate brought us together and I listened
so meekly to your lecture?

O spare me, have pity!
I was so mistaken; I have been cruelly punished!

Onegin, I was younger then,
and a better person, I think!
And I loved you, but what, then,
what response did I find
in your heart? Only severity!
Am I not right in thinking, that
A simple young girl's love was no novelty to you?
Even now … dear God, my blood runs cold
whenever I recall that cold look,
that sermon!
But I do not blame you …
In that dreadful moment
you behaved honourably,
you acted correctly towards me.
At that time, I suppose, in the back of beyond,
far from the frivolity of social gossip,
you didn't find me attractive. Why, then,
do you pursue me now?
Why am I the object of such attentions?
Could it be because I now
frequent the highest circles,
because I am rich and of the nobility,
because my husband, wounded in battle,
enjoys, on that account, the favour of the court?
Could it not be that my disgrace
would now be generally remarked
and would confer upon you
the reputation of a seducer?

Oh! My God!
Is it possible that in my humble pleading
your cold look sees nothing
but the wiles of a despicable cunning?
Your reproach torments me!
If you only knew how terrible
it is to suffer love's torments,
to endure and to constantly check
the fever in the blood by reason,
to long to clasp your knees
and, weeping at your feet,
pour out prayers, avowals, reproaches,
all, all that words can express!

I am weeping!

Weep on, those tears are dearer
than all the treasures in the world!

Ah! Happiness was within our reach,
so close! So close!


Happiness was within our reach,
so close! So close! So close!

But my fate has already been decided, and irrevocably!
I am married; you must,
I beg you, leave me!

Leave you? Leave you! What! … Leave you?
No! No!
To see you hourly,
to dog your footsteps, to follow
your every smile, movement and glance
with loving eyes,
to listen to you for hours, to understand
in my heart all your perfection,
falling to his knees, he seizes Tatyana’s hand and covers it with kisses
to swoon before you in passionate torment
turn pale and pass away: this is bliss,
this is my only dream, my only happiness!

somewhat frightened, she withdraws her hand
Onegin, your heart knows
both pride and true honour!

I cannot leave you!

Eugene! You must. I beg you
to leave me.

Oh, have pity!

Why hide it, why pretend?
Ah! I love you!

Overwhelmed by her confession, she sinks on Onegin's breast. He embraces her, but she recovers her composure quickly and frees herself.

What do I hear?
What was that word you spoke?
O joy! Oh, my life!
You are again the Tatyana of former days!

No! No!
You cannot bring back the past!
I am another's now,
my fate is already decided,
I shall always be true to him.

She tries to leave, but sinks down, overcome. Onegin kneels before her.

Oh, do not drive me away; you love me!
And I will not leave you!
You will ruin your life for nothing!
This is the will of Heaven: you are mine!
All your life has been a pledge
of our union!
And be assured, I was sent to you by God,
I am your protector to the grave!
You cannot refuse me.
For me you must forsake
this hateful house, the clamour of society -
You have no choice!

rising lo her feet
Onegin, I shall remain firm; …

No, you cannot …
… refuse me …

… to another by fate …
… have I been given,
with him will I live and never leave him; …

… For me …
… you must forsake all, all -
hateful house and social clamour!
You have no choice!
Oh, do not drive me from you, I implore!
You love me; you will ruin
your life for nothing!
You are mine, mine for ever!

… No, I must remember my vows!
Deep in my heart his desperate appeal
strikes an answering chord,
but having stifled the sinful flame,
honour’s severe and sacred duty
will triumph over the passion!
I leave you!

No! No! No! No!


Oh, I implore you: do not go!

No, I am resolved!

I love you! I love you!

Leave me!

I love you!

Farewell for ever!

She leaves the room.

He stands stupefied for a moment, plunged in despair.
Ignominy! …  Anguish! …
Oh, my pitiable fate!

He rushes out.