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Valery Gergiev (c) Joachim Ladefoged

Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades

From 21 January TO 30 January 2022
Wiener Staatsoper - Wien
Program

Tchaikovsky : The Queen of Spades

Cast
  • Conductor
    Valery Gergiev
  • Director
    Vera Nemirova
  • Performers
    Herman: Dmitry Golovnin
    Liza: Elena Guseva
    Countess: Olga Borodina
    Prince Yeletsky: Boris Pinkhasovich
    Count Tomsky: Alexey Markov
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Wiener Staatsoper - Wien Location Opernring 2 - 1010 Wien Autriche

  • Venue's Capacity: 1709

The Vienna State Opéra is much more than just a local institution; it is a vital part of the city's identity and a national landmark.

As of the 17th century, the Hapsburgs lavishly patronized the opéra. Family members Ferdinand III and Leopold I composed for the théâtre, while Charles VI tried his hand at conducting the orchestra, and the Empress Maria-Theresa often mingled with the corps de ballet.

During the 19th century, the Karntnerthor-Theater was demolished and the présent building was constructed on the famous " Ring ". It was here that Mahler, with the help of the set designer Alfred RoUer, imposed a new style of performance, based on audacious stagings and a very précise interprétation ofthe score, which demanded countless rehearsals.

After the fall of the Hapsburgs, Richard Strauss took over the reins of the newly baptized Vienna State Opéra. Curiously enough, only one of Strauss'operas, THE WOMAH WITHOUT A SHADOW, was premiered in Vienna. Clemens Krauss and Karl Bôhm were to follow in his footsteps. Under Bôhm's direction, the Opera created its own Company, which was to serve as a model for several générations. Even the bombs that destroyed the opéra house in 1945 could not prevent singer s such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac or Erich Kunz from becoming legendary.

One musn't think that the Viennese applaud only their homegrown stars. In 1955, when Maria Callas came to sing LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR in the reconstructed building with Karajan conducting, the public blocked traffic to pay tribute to the diva... in the street! Karajan succeeàed Karl Bôhm, and invited many international stars to corne sing on the Viennese stage. Works were henceforth sung in their language of origin, and coproductions with La Scala permitted the disco-very of voices such as that of Mirella Freni in LA BOHEME.

Ioan Holender has suceeded in deftly combining these international distributions with an ensemble System. He has scheduled many works never heard on the Viennese stage, which are now included in the Opera's répertoire, such as Verdi's JERUSALEM and Enesco's OEDIPE, furthering a policy instated under Claudio Abbado's brilliant direction. Whatever changes may now occur, the Opera will continue to stage at least 300 performances per season (an absolute world record ren-dered feasible thanks to the în-house technical crew, which hires no less than 250 people), and the public will continue to applaud the finest orchestra any amateur could wish for in the pit : the Vienna Philharmonie !

Wiener Staatsoper

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

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

   
Wiener Staatsoper

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