Part one (Solitude)
The young Tatyana lives with her sister Olga, her mother Larina and the old nurse on a farm in the countryside, far away from the big cities like St. Petersburg or Moscow. Tatyana loves this idyll, where she can feel like a child, where she dreams of a life more than actually living it.
Until now, her only knowledge of love and the pain of love came from books, but this changes when Lensky, who lives nearby, brings a friend to visit, Eugene Onegin.
A lot is said about this new neighbour, that he only reluctantly moved to the countryside to care for his seriously ill uncle, that until recently he was an unscrupulous and cynical man about town in St. Petersburg society.
Tatyana is immediately attracted to the stranger, and so writes him a passionate love letter a few hours later.
The very next morning, Onegin turns up in person to tell her that he is not made for a lasting love affair, and certainly not for marriage. But Tatyana remains under his spell for several months.
When a celebration is held on Tatyana’s name day, Onegin gets carried away and flirts with her sister Olga in public, right in front of her fiancé Lensky.
Discouraged, Tatyana suffers silently. She finds a soulmate in Lensky, who breaks off the friendship with Onegin in front of all the guests and goes so far as to challenge him to a duel. Onegin begins to realise that he has gone too far. Yet he accepts the challenge.
Part two (Loneliness)
Onegin realises that he will have to face the consequences of his past life and above all, he has to understand that disasters inevitably have to run their course.
Lensky dies in the duel, Onegin must see himself as the guilty party. Again, he is haunted by images of fleeing from himself. Again, he tries to return to a superficial life, but in vain.
But Lensky’s shade does not leave him in peace: nor does Tatyana, whose soul he has broken.
And finally, fate confronts him with Tatyana, who in the meantime has married Prince Gremin and left all girlish naivety behind. In his godforsaken loneliness, he believes that he now loves her passionately and wants to win her over. He has not learned to let go. So Tatyana must now reject him and forces him to live with his loneliness.