Grand stage

STARRING Mikhail Agafonov, Olga Kolobova, Svetlana Tokareva

The Queen of Spades. The Game

opera in three acts, seven parts
music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev


Julia Nikiforova


Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky after a novella of the same name by Alexander Pushkin

Musical director and conductor: Dmitri Jurowski
Author of the artistic concept, stage director: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Stage designer: Pyotr Okunev
Stage designer: Zhanna Usachyova
Lighting designer: Alexei Tarasov
Choir master: Vyacheclav Podyelsky
Video: Vadim Dulenko
Stage movement: Artur Oschepkov

2 hours 50 minutes

one intermission

Premiered on October 14, 2016

Three cards are in Destinys hands, the high stakes game is on. What will result a wrong move in? The Queen of Spades is one of those uncommon works that possess magical power and fascinate with a mystery that cannot be solved. The plot of the Pushkins short novel was revealed in a new perspective by virtue of Tchaikovskys expressive music full of dramatic tension and vibrant lyricism. Premiere of the opera in directors version by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev is dedicated to the memory of Vsevolod Meyerhold, whose ideas served as an inspiration for NOVATs creators.

Act one

Scene one

In Petersburg, cheerful crowd of people is walking. The poor engineering officer Herman says to his friend Count Tomsky that he loves Liza, the granddaughter of the rich Countess; at this moment he learns about the engagement of Liza and Prince Yeletsky. Count Tomsky tells the story of the Countess's youth and her main secret: she knew the cherished three cards that could win in a row. A thunderstorm starts. Herman decides to fight for Liza: No, prince, I will not give her to you ... She will be mine, mine, or I will die!... The game has begun.

Scene two

On the same night, Herman entered Liza's room. His declaration of love is interrupted by the arrival of the Countess. Herman is scared. He is ready to die if Liza does not return his love. No, live, Liza replies.

Act two

Scene three

Masquerade ball in the palace of a rich dignitary. Herman, the old Countess with Liza, Yeletsky, Surin, Chekalinsky, Tomsky are among those invited. Liza secretly gives Herman a note asking for a meeting and the key to the door to the Countess's bedroom, through which he can get into her room. Now its not me, but fate itself wants it that way, and I will know the three cards, Herman exclaims.

Scene four

On the same night, Herman entered the Countess's bedroom. "So it's decided, I'll deduce the secret from the old woman." The Countess, accompanied by the lamentations of the toadeaters, returns from the ball with the French ambassador. She recalls her turbulent youth... Herman appears. He begs the Countess to tell him the secret of the three cards, even if it is "connected with a terrible sin, with a pernicious bliss, a diabolical state." The Countess is mortally frightened. Without responding to Herman's pleas and threats, she is dying. Herman is almost insane. Liza is in despair: "You didn't need me, but the cards."

Act Three

Scene five

Its funeral of the Countess. After the memorial service, Herman comes back to the barracks. Terrible visions torment him. Herman distinctly hears the voice of the Countess: Save Liza, marry her, and three cards will win in a row. Remember: three ... seven ... ace ... ".

Scene six

On the embankment of the Winter Canal, Liza is waiting for Herman. Midnight strikes. Herman, who has come, hardly sees Liza. Herman can no longer resist the impending madness. He pushes Liza away and runs off to the gambling house. Liza throws herself into the river in despair.

Scene seven

Regulars have fun in the gambling house: Tomsky, Yeletsky, Surin, Chekalinsky and other officers. They are surprised to meet Herman, pale, with crazy eyes. Everyone is even more surprised when Herman decides to join the game and put forty thousand at stake. The card of three wins. Herman doubles the offer. Seven also wins. Everyone is amazed. Why are you getting the hump? Are you scared? Herman triumphs. Herman places the third card. This time Prince Yeletsky is playing against Herman. Instead of the Ace, the Queen of spades turns out to be in the hands of Herman. He sees the features of the Countess in it: What do you need? My life? Take it, take it!" Herman dies, asking Liza for forgiveness at the last minute before his death. Every game has its own Joker...