Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) – Dutch National Opera


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As one of the highlights of the Holland Festival, renowned director Stefan Herheim staged Tchaikovsky’s much-loved opera about a young man who, for the prospect of earthly wealth, gambles away his chance for love and happiness.

The protagonist Hermann stakes everything on gambling, in the belief that there has to be a secret formula that will prevent him from losing at cards. He wants to draw the secret from his girlfriend Lisa’s grandmother, the old Countess: How is it that she is such a successful gambler? Herman confronts her and forces her to reveal her secret, menacing her with a revolver. The Countess dies from the shock. It is her ghost that later appears before the young officer and gives away the fatal sequence of cards: three, seven, ace. Having lost everything, Hermann commits suicide, thus becoming the third victim of his own compulsive gambling behavior – after the old Countess, who was supposed to know the secret, and Lisa, who was in love with him. The score of Pique Dame was written by Tchaikovsky within only 44 days, in a period of turmoil about himself and his homosexuality. Herheim, whose stagings are famous for their multi-layered levels of interpretation, attempts to reflect on the composer’s hidden love for men.

Former Music Director Mariss Jansons returns to Amsterdam to conduct Pique Dame at the Dutch National Opera with “his” Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He encounters a noteworthy cast, including star tenor Misha Didyk, a sought after interpreter of the Russian repertoire, who is making his Amsterdam debut in the role of Herman. The critics agree about the production’s quality: “A Pique Dame of extraordinary musical and scenic power” (Avant-Scène Opéra), which it is “absolutely worth seeing!” (Die Welt).

Pannonia Entertainment distributes this stunning opera to cinemas across Hungary and Germany.

Conductor: Mariss Jansons
Stage Director: Stefan Herheim
Decor and costumes: Philipp Fürhofer
Dramaturgy: Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach
Lighting: Bernd Purkrabek
Chorus Masters: Ching-Lien Wu, Caro Kindt
Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Chorus: Chorus of Dutch National Opera

Herman Misha: Didyk
Count Tomsky/Plutus: Alexey Markov
Prince Yeletsky: Vladimir Stoyanov
Chekalinsky: Andrei Popov
Surin: Andrii Goniukov
Chaplitsky: Mikhail Makarov
Narumov: Anatoli Sivko
The Countess: Larissa Diadkova
Liza: Svetlana Aksenova
Polina/Daphnis: Anna Goryachova

Opera in 3 acts
Sung in Russian
Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky, after a short story by Alexander Pushkin

Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam
Recorded in 2016

Running Time: 03:01:15h
Running Time by Act:  Part 1 (Acts 1 & 2): 00:00:00 – 01:43:29 | Optional Intermission (curtains & applause): 01:43:30 – 01:44:43 | Part 2 (Act 3): 01:44:43 – 02:53:30 | Curtains and Credits: 02:53:31 – 03:01:15

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