RICHARD Studer’s directing of this touring is unfussy and does not over stress on having fancy dancing and lavish sets. Rather the attention was on the characters.

Conducted by Jonathan Lyness the small chamber orchestra Ensemble Cymru could not, of course, realise the full grandeur of Tchaikovsky’s score but it was enjoyable and accomplished.

Elizabeth Karani’s Tatyana reacted to her rejection with a cool dignity. This Tatyana particularly grabbed us during the letter scene and then the finale. It is less clear why she lurched from cool to red-hot chili pepper quite so schizophrenically, however.

Ailsa Mainwaring was a flighty Olga and a perfect foil to her serious sister. The contrast between Onegin and Lensky, sung by George von Bergen and Robin Lyn Evans, was similarly nicely crafted.

Madam Larina and Filipyevna, sung by Stephanie Windsor-Lewis and Maria Jagusz, form another pairing, contrasting wisdom and experience of the servant with that ambition of the doomed Russian class.

Above it all is Prince Gremin, sung securely by Sion Goronwy, and his mirror image character, the slightly simpering song for the France-obsessed provincials Monsieur Triquet sung prettily by Jonathon Cooke.

Mike Smith