German opera lovers weren’t loving the gay twist director Krzysztof Warlikowski amplified in Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s classic, Eugene Onegin.
Gay cowboys and drag queens doing erotic dances find their way into Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” in Munich. The Polish stage director, Krzysztof Warlikowski, turns this classic romance into a gay love triangle, and was roundly booed for his efforts at the premiere.
Warlikowski pushes the composer’s own tormented homosexuality into the foreground and queers the pitch for his characters.
The real relationship in this production is between Lensky and Onegin. The duel scene finds them in bed together, with what looks like the cast of Brokeback Mountain lurking at the back of the stage (a motel room and petrol station clearly visible — sets and costumes from Malgorzata Szczesniak)… An exploration of the two men’s relationship is legitimate, since it is one of the opera’s deepest and certainly its most tragic. With more subtlety and professionalism, it might have worked.
Everyone’s a critic!