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Martin Muehle © Simon Pauly

Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades

From 09 May TO 28 May 2020
Deutsche Oper - Berlin
Program

Tchaikovsky : The Queen of Spades

3 h 30 with 1 interval
Cast
  • Conductor
    Sebastian Weigle
  • Director
    Graham Vick
  • Performers
    Herman: Martin Muehle (Tenor)
    Liza: Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
    Countess: Hanna Schwarz (Mezzo-Soprano)
    Prince Yeletsky: Thomas Lehman (Baryton)
    Pauline: Judit Kutasi
    Count Tomsky: Seth Carico
Details on the Performance

Tchaikovsky's second most popular opera now, after EUGENE ONEGIN, is particularly exciting for its sheer size: the mood in QUEEN OF SPADES skilfully changes from great, represenative choral and ensemble opera that invokes the splendour of the tsardom, to folkloric moments, up to psychological chamber play scenes.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Deutsche Oper - Berlin Location Bismarckstrasse 35 - 10627 Berlin Allemagne

  • Venue's Capacity: 1859

The Venue's History in few words …

Contrary to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden which was founded in the eighteenth century in the centre of town and for a long time considered the Royal Opera, the history of the Berlin Opera began in 1912, in the Charlottenburg neighborhood situated outside the city limits, and intitiated by the rich bourgeoisie. But the inevitable occured, following the economic crisis of World War I, and the Charlottenburg Opera was ultimately purchased by the City of Berlin.

 

Bruno Walter greatly improved the musical qualities of this institution which was rebaptized the Städtische Oper (City Opera). Prior to that, Carl Ebert, as administrator (with Rudolf Bing, the future legendary director of the MET in New York, as assistant), promoted more modern music, including those operas by Kurt Weill or Schreker which Klemperer could no longer perform at the then-closed Kr oll-Oper, and which provoked the ire of the Nazis as early as 1933. In 1945, the building was left in ruins, but by the month of August 45, the company presented FIDELIO at the « Theater des Westerns » and animated that theatre until 1961. During this period, the conductor Ferenc Fricsay, named music director, enabled the Städtische Oper to regain its international ranking, alternating standard repertoire in top-quality productions (where voices such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau or Josef Greindl were discovered), works by Stravinsky and Hindemith (who were banned by the Nazis), and world premieres. But in 1955, the Opera Unter den Linden, situated in East Germany, reopened under the name of the Deutsche Staatsoper. Under the influence of this politico-artistic competition, three decisions were made : the Städtische Oper was rebaptized the Deutsche Oper Berlin, plans were made to construct a theatre at the Charlottenburg site (situated in West Berlin), and Carl Ebert who, in the mean­time founded the Glyndebourne Festival, was called back. His productions and season programmes turned West Berlin into one of contemporary opera's main capitals.

Deutsche Oper

Synopsis

The Queen of Spades

THE QUEEN OF SPADES: A MTSTERIOUS TALE OF INTRIQUE OBSESSION AND GREED

Herman is fixated on the secret of the Queen of cards and will stop at nothing to acquire this knowledge. Lisa is in love with Herman, enthralled by his dark and seductive charm, while the Countess senses his presence is a bad omen. Written by Pushkin and adapted into an opera by Tchaikovsky, La Dame de Pique is a captivating and cautionary narrative, featuring elements of blackmail, deception, greed and obsession. The absolute lust and desire for wealth and status, is reflected through impressive arias and powerful vocals.

THE HISTORY

La Dame de Pique centres on the character Herman, who wants to learn about the secret of the cards. His initial interest in Lisa, fiancée of Prince Yeletsky, is overshadowed by his desire for wealth, through acquisition of the secret, known only by the Countess, who also being Lisa's governess, dies as a result of his perilous actions.

Act 1

During the Reign of Catherine the Great, soldiers Tsurin and Chekalinsky converse in the park. Tsurin speaks of his bad luck at gambling and Herman appears with Tomsky, who asks if Herman is alright. Herman tells of his love of a mystery woman. Prince Yeletsky arrives, sharing news of engagement to Lisa, who also arrives with the Countess. Lisa is the one Herman desires. Soldiers speak of the Countess's secret of the cards, which Herman vows to discover.

Act 2

Lisa requests Herman visits her the next day. She gives him a key to her Grandmother's house. Herman, eager to uncover the secret of the cards, insists on visiting the same night. Entering the Countess's room, he hides, while she prepares for bed. While asleep, he stands over her. She awakens and he threatens her with a pistol, demanding she reveal the secret. The shock kills her. Lisa discovers the truth behind Herman's interest and orders him to leave.

Act 3

Herman prepares to meet Lisa. The Countess's appears to him, saying she'll share the secret, so that he can marry Lisa. The cards are three, seven and ace. Lisa awaits Herman's arrival. When sensing he no longer loves her, she ends her life in the icy canal. Herman, joining Yeletsky and the other men to gamble, wins with the three and seven cards, Yeletsky pulls the queen of spades, against Herman's ace. Herman defeated, kills himself.

MAIN ROLES

Herman - Tenor
Lisa - Soprano
Countess - Mezzo-Soprano
Tsurin- Bass
Prince Yeletsky- Baritone
Chekalinsky - Tenor

   
Deutsche Oper

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