Watched our DVRed copy of this Met HD film last night, our very first Onegin. Its drop-dead gorgeous music notwithstanding, we don't quite get its standing as an opera. Dramatically, it's as flimsy, banal, and melodramatic as any typical Italian soap opera; more than a bit surprising given that it's Russian through and through which led us to expect a work of more depth and gravitas. And the stage direction of this production bordered on the inept (for example, What's Tatiana doing in Act I wandering aimlessly all about the room when the words she's singing are the words she's supposedly writing to Onegin as she's singing them for our benefit?). With the exception of the Prince Gremin whose singing was thoroughly dreadful (was he just having a really bad hair day?), the singers were all splendid and a pleasure to hear and even to watch, and the acting all round was more than merely passable (although not even Netrebko could pull off a teenage Tatiana as the music prohibits it) which is always a good thing to see in opera. And even though the score of this work is largely unfamiliar to us, it struck us that Gergiev and the orchestra did it honorable justice throughout. Would we go out of our way to sit through this opera (any production) again? Not likely.