On Saturday night, we had the sublime pleasure of attending the first performance of Lyric Opera’s “Eugene Onegin”. Tschaikovsky’s opera about a rich aloof dweeb turning down a young girl’s love, only to hunger for it years later, was a sumptuous feast, with an all-native-Russian cast giving it their old-country best. (It was pretty cool all evening to hear audience members speaking in Russian–in the garage, in the lobby, in the seats behind us. They loves them some “Onegin”, babushka.) The standing ovations that came at the end were most spontaneous and sincere I have heard in a long time.
And Dmitri Hvorostovsky was superb in the title role. How cool is it to see “The Siberian baritone” leading off a performer’s biography. There’s no arguing with that. It even trumps Detroit on your resume.
The most wrenching scene in the opera is the duel between Onegin and his erstwhile best friend, the poet Lensky. At a boring formal ball, Onegin decides to amuse himself by flirting with Lensky’s fiance and making him jealous. Things get pushed to far, Lensky throws down the glove, and the next morning is killed. Lensky’s aria, “Kuda Kuda, vy Udalilis (“Where have you gone, o golden days of my spring?”), was truly heartbreaking, the confession of a man who loved too much who is about to be killed by one who loved too little. Frank Lopardo was magnificent.
For some strange reason, as soon as the scene was over, my mind kept replaying a news item I’d read in the Tribune that morning. The audience was moved to tears by Lensky’s death, but what kind of banality creeps around the modern city, day in and day out? Or does this really mean anything?
Man accused of shooting 3 in Chicago denied bail
Delano Horn thought he didn’t leave any of the witnesses to his January shooting rampage alive, according to prosecutors.
After allegedly shooting three people in an Englewood neighborhood home, he used one victim’s cell phone to send text messages to her family, Assistant State’s Atty. Nancy Wilder said at Horn’s bail hearing Friday.
“They all dead. Ha, ha, ha,” Horn said the messages stated. But the victims survived and identified Horn, Wilder said. Horn, 21, is charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated criminal sexual assault. …
Wilder said Horn was after revenge Jan. 17 when he broke into the home of a woman in the 5500 block of South Justine Street. The woman had told Horn’s girlfriend that he was the father of another woman’s baby, Wilder said.
Threatening her with a gun, Horn raped the woman, Wilder said. He is accused of binding her; another woman who lived in the home, Chantelle McGee; and a male friend, Shawndale Thomas; with duct tape.
“He told all three victims to choose who would die first,” Wilder said. “When they refused to choose, he threatened to bring [the woman’s] 9- and 5-year-old children to watch him shoot the adults.” Minutes later, Horn opened fire, Wilder said.
Trying to get help, Thomas then fell down a flight of stairs, Wilder said. As McGee pretended she was dead, the other woman hid her children, locked the door and jumped from a second-story window, breaking her arm.
Horn left with the cell phone of the woman he raped, Wilder said. He fled to Iowa, she said.
Horn was arrested Wednesday when police found him hiding at a cousin’s home in the 6500 block of South Harvard Avenue, Wilder said. She said he confessed to the shootings.
I guess there’s style, and then there’s style.