What is the essence of The Queen of Spades? Is this opera a love story? In a way, it is. But so is any opera. Two men fall in love with the same girl. One of them is handsome, successful, comes from a respectable family. All the possibilities in life are laid out in front of him. The other one is a nobody – angry, broke, nameless. But, as it often happens, the girl loves this other one.
Is this opera a story of gambling? I’d say it is not. Although the game does occupy a very important place here. One could even say that this is a story of two card games with half a century interval. The first takes place one day in Versailles au jeu de la Reine. And the second happens 50 (or is it 60?) years later in Saint-Petersburg. Everything else is in-between.
This is a story of fate ruling over the destinies of people who live in the city of tragic greatness – Saint Petersburg. It also becomes one of the main characters – a ghost-city of monumental beauty built within only 200 years on an extraordinary and unprecedented scale. Perilous city built on bones drowned in the swamp, absolutely European and absolutely Russian at the same time. The city that gets flooded every now and then. The cradle of both Golden and Silver ages of the Russian art…
Artistic Director of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Opera Alexander Titel.