CULTURE

A cosmopolitan Russian returns

Members of the National Opera’s ballet company are rehearsing feverishly these days for a series of performances of «Eugene Onegin.» The ballet production is being staged for a second consecutive year, much to the delight of audiences and performers alike. Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse «Eugene Onegin» will unfold at the National Opera’s Olympia Theater beginning on Saturday, with additional performances on Sunday and then February 9, 10, 13 and 14. That is when Tatiana will fall madly in love with cosmopolitan Eugene Onegin, while he will not only spurn her but will kill his friend Lensky, in a duel, for flirting with her. Years later, Tatiana will be a married woman when Onegin finally realizes his mistake. Choreographing this story of unfulfilled love – and a celebrated ballet thanks to choreographer John Cranko’s original work based on music by Tchaikovsky – is the National Opera Ballet’s artistic director, Irek Mukhamedov. The Russian dancer-choreographer is basing his version on his desire to showcase the dancers’ technical abilities and interpretation skills. Alternating in the role of Onegin are Vangelis Bikos, Aleksandar Neskov and Igor Siadzko, with Agapios Agapiadis and Danilo Zeka taking turns in the role of Lensky. Evridiki Isaakidou, Maria Koussouni-Fika and Natasha Siouta will interpret Tatiana. Conducting the National Opera Orchestra is Andreas Tselikas, with costumes by Yiannis Metzikof and lighting by Eleftheria Deko. The set design was supervised by Verona Productions and Socrates Dalamangas. National Opera, Olympia Theater, 59-61 Academias, tel 210.361.2461, www.nationalopera.gr.