Onegin by Eifman Ballet

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PreviousDecember 2020

Boris Eifman presents a poetic contemporary version of Pushkin's novel

No doubt about it: Boris Eifman's creations are dramatic, erotic, subtle, luminously beautiful and visually spellbinding.

Alexander Pushkin's epic novel Eugene Onegin (1833), one of the best loved works of Russian literature, provides the basis for this adaptation, which takes a contemporary look at the poetry and essence of the text.

The iconoclastic choreographer Eifman sets the action in 1991, in the post-perestroika era when Russia underwent sweeping changes. Passages of classical works by Tchaikovsky alternate with rock music by Alexander Sitkovetsky, while the dancing conveys an intimate spirituality and explores the secret depths of the soul.

A troupe of brilliant dancers interprets Eifman's fast-paced, impressive choreography, full of acrobatic movements.

Program and cast

Music: P. I. Tchaikovsky and A. Sitkovetsky
Coreography: Boris Eifman
Set Design: Zinovy Margolin
Costumes: Olga Shaishmelashvili, Piotr Okunev and Anna Yakushchenko
Lighting: Gleb Filshtinsky and Boris Eifman
Symphony Orchestra of the Liceu Opera Barcelona
Conductor: Conrad van Alphen

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.

Today it is publicly-owned (by the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte) and administered by the Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu which, in addition to the aforementioned bodies, incorporates the Patronage Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu (the old society of owners).

Origins: From 1837 to 1847

The Liceu evolved out of the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados (Society of theatre-lovers) set up in 1837 at the instigation of Manuel Gibert in the former convent of Montsió by members of the National Militia, an organization of armed citizens with liberal leanings.
Barcelona's economy and population were growing fast at the time and the city needed a music conservatory. This led to the conversion of the Sociedad Dramática into the Liceo Filármonico Dramático Barcelonés de S.M. la Reina Isabel II (Barcelona Dramatic and Philharmonic Lyceum of HM Queen Isabel II).  In addition to its theatrical activities, the new organization cultivated Italian-style singing and music.

The building on the Rambla

The original building was solemnly opened on 4 April 1847. The plans had been drawn up by Miquel Garriga i Roca, subsequently assisted by Josep Oriol Mestres. The project was funded by selling shares, which meant that many of the boxes and seats were to be privately owned. The shareholders formed the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu, known as the “Societat de Propietaris” (Society of Owners),  which was in sole charge of running the Gran Teatre del Liceu from 1855 onwards, after it was legally separated from the Conservatori del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The theatre was operated by impresarios who were given a concession to stage a specific number of productions in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of tickets not reserved for the Societat itself. This system was to endure until 1980.

The creation of the Consortium

By the last quarter of the 20th century this management system was no longer viable. In 1980, to avert the danger of the disappearance of an institution of such worldwide cultural renown, the Generalitat  Catalonia's first government in modern times – set up a consortium, the Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu, which also incorporated Barcelona City Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Barcelona Provincial Council joined the Consortium in 1985, followed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1986. From then on the Consortium took over operation of the theatre.

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