Reflected words can only shiver
Like elongated lights that twist
In the black mirror of a river
Between the city and the mist.
Elusive Pushkin! Persevering,
I still pick up Tatyana’s earring,
Still travel with your sullen rake.
I find another man’s mistake,
I analyze alliterations
That grace your feasts and haunt the great
Fourth stanza of your Canto Eight.
This is my task–a poet’s patience
And scholastic passion blent:
Dove-droppings on your monument.
– Vladimir Nabokov, on translating Pushkin
We are headed into our final 2 previews of Onegin before opening night on Wednesday March 23. It’s been a real joy to add the final touches after the almost 3 year journey to bring this to the stage. Audiences thus far have been warm and curious. Veda and I are more aware of the audacity we have to attempt this, and our deep hope that we are doing Pushkin’s legacy proud in some way. And as for Monsieur Tchaikovsky? His masterwork is as perfect as an opera can be – we are not trying to improve or update, we want to make our own distinct thing, all respect and adoration to our original author and all of us that love them.