The Queen of Spades is one of Tchaikovsky's most impressive and varied scores, containing grand choruses, intimate arias and duets (such as Liza and Gherman's passionate Act I love duet), a masquerade paying tribute to Mozart and a terrifying supernatural episode. He based it on a short story by Alexander Pushkin, one of his favourite writers and. together with his brother Modest (his co-librettist) dramatically altered Pushkin's plot. Tchaikovsky put a great deal of work into the opera's premiere at St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre in 1890, and was thrilled by its success.
Stefan Herheim's spectacular production - whose cast includes Eva-Maria Westbroek, Felicity Palmer and Aleksandrs Antonenko - places Tchaikovsky himself at the heart of the action, and asks searching questions about the nature of creativity and the parallels between life and art. The opera is conducted by Mo Antonio Pappano.
2018-2019 Royal Opera House Live Season is distributed in Italian cinemas by Nexo Digital
Sung in Russian with English surtitles.
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