PYONGYANG, June 8 (RIA Novosti) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has directed a staging of Yevgeny Onegin, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's opera of the classic Pushkin novel, the KCNA news agency reported on Monday.
According to the agency, Kim Jong Il assisted at the rehearsal of Tchaikovsky's famous lyric opera at Pyongyang's Kim Won Gyun Conservatory and gave instructions to the director and actors.
The staging of the opera comes upon the instruction of Kim Jong Il to give the Korean people "better understanding of the world culture." North Korea has five revolutionary operas which were all created in the early 1970s.
Kim Jong Il was satisfied with the work and praised the performers for having "produced the admirable opera of high artistic value perfectly meeting the requirements of the original work by devoting all their creative wisdom and enthusiasm."
The opera was first performed at the Bolshoi Theater in 1881, with Tchaikovsky as conductor. Alexander Pushkin's novel, written as a poem and published in the 1830s, is one of the most loved works of Russian literature.