An interview with Andrei Bondarenko playing Eugene Onegin
You have recently performed the role of Eugene Onegin for Oper Köln and Staatstheater Stuttgart, what differences will you be bringing to the Glyndebourne role and what can our audiences look forward to?
Yes, I did Onegin in two German theatres, in Regietheater productions, when the director is given the freedom to alter the relationships between characters quite significantly. In the Glyndebourne production, we will be showing audiences the Pushkin story, during the period when he lived, set to the amazing music of Tchaikovsky.
You have received great praise for your performances in previous Festival productions, what was it about coming back to Glyndebourne to perform as Eugene Onegin that appealed?
I am always happy to come back to Glyndebourne but I think to perform Onegin here will be something special in my artistic life.
Glyndebourne celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2014, what are your favourite memories of your time here, so far in your career?
I think my favourite moment is when I came here for first time. It was a bit of a shock to see what a beautiful place it is and how nice the atmosphere is to work in.
What exciting new roles are on the horizon for you?
Soon I will do my first Prince Andrei from Prokofiev's War and Peace and then recording Don Giovanni, that is very exciting.
Knowing that many of the great voices (Pavarotti, Felicity Lott, Lorraine Hunt etc) have sung here and won great praise for their roles, what would be your dream Festival role?
My dream is to perform the role of Pelleas from Pelleas et Melisande at Glyndebourne.
How do you relax?
The most relaxing time for me is time with my family.
People often say that performing at Glyndebourne is a completely different experience to a city opera, would you agree?
Oh yes, I agree with this. Everyone knows that Glyndebourne is special. Maybe it's because it's a Festival. You work hard and play hard and it's place where special things happen.
What are your two favourite things about Glyndebourne?
The place and the amazing people you work with... what else do you need?
Tell us a secret about your operatic life?
The secret to an operatic life is not to be lazy and really love music!
Who are your opera heroes?
I think my heroes in opera are composers, they created our music world, and I love a lot of them!!!!
There are still tickets available on selected dates for Eugene Onegin. Check for availability.
Image: Andrei Bondarenko as Dr Malatesta in the Glyndebourne Tour, 2011