Well, I think I know how to pronounce the “Eugene” part, but “Onegin”?
I’ve read this name (title) over the years, but never heard it pronounced. (Obviously I’ve never been to a performance, either.) And because it’s a proper name/title, it’s not in the dictionary to look up the pronunciation.
Just hoping someong will clue me in so that I can put this to rest and worry about the other significant issues on my list - like where to go for dinner tonight, or should I paint my toenails red next time instead of pink.
Thanks so much, Eva.
Especially for the info on the Eugene part.
But let me ask a clarifying question (I’m probably just being thick here, so please bear with me…)
Is the name of the opera pronounced that way when being discussed by English speakers as well as that being the correct pronunciation for those names in Russian? For example, we (mostly) say “Parissss” not “Paree”, or “Romeo AND Juliet” not using the French pronunciation, or “The Marriage of Figaro” not “Le Nozze di Figaro” or “The Barber of Seville” when discussing a work or performance. Although “Cossi fan tutte” and “La Traviata” and “Der Rosenkavalier” are also the “standard” english pronounciations. No-one said these things had to be consistent. It just leaves the question open in my mind.
Thanks for your patience!
P.S. As a hikack of my own thread, I had a friend in college whose parents were both russians who had emigrated to mexico where he was born. And thus, being Mexican-born, he used the convention of hyphenating/concatenating his parents’ last names, so his last name was… Olegnowicz-Anchipolofsky (or something like that).
He had a hell of a time making reservations in the US - usually just said his last name was Oleg.
As far as I know, in English it’s almost the same: oh-NE-gin.
As for your friend, yeah, Latin American is a wacky place; my personal favorite Latin American name is a political scientist who teaches at Notre Dame; he’s Dr. Guillermo O’Donnell. Don’t know what his mother’s last name was…
It varies. As you’ve already noticed, there is no consistency in whether the pronunciations are Anglicized or the titles translated. In the specific case of Eugene Onegin, most frequently I’ve heard it pronounced Eugene (the English way) Oh-NYEH-gn (rhymes with Reagan), and infrequently Evgeny… The same goes with the composer – most often it’s Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky, but some folks will say Piotr. I’m not going to get into a discussion of which is “right.”
As for Nabokov, my pronouncing guide for the arts* says: vlud-EE-mir na-BAW-cawv
Klee as in clay by Wilfred J. McConkey – I think it’s out of print, though.