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Opera Eugene Onegin (Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

In May 1877, the opera singer Yelizaveta Lavrovskaya spoke to Tchaikovsky about creating an opera based on the plot of Alexander Pushkin's 1825-1832 verse novel Eugene Onegin. At first this idea seemed wild to the composer, according to his memoirs. Tchaikovsky felt that the novel wasn't properly strong in plot – a dandy rejects a young country girl, she successfully grows into a worldly woman, he tries to seduce her but it is too late.

The strength of the novel resided in its character development and social commentary, as well as in the beauty of its literary delivery. Soon after a sleepless night, Tchaikovsky came to embrace the idea. He created the scenarios in one night before starting the composition of the music.

Tchaikovsky, with some minor involvement by Konstantin Shilovsky, used original verses from Pushkin's novel and chose scenes that involved the emotional world and fortunes of his heroes, calling the opera "lyrical scenes." The opera is episodic; there is no continuous story, just selected highlights of Onegin's life.
The composer finished the opera by January 1878.