Tchaikovsky encodes in the action a love story as fantastic as it is real
Love often lifts a man up, but in "The Queen of Spades" it brings him down. Herman becomes infatuated not only with Liza, but with the path that will lead him to riches.
P.I. Tchaikovsky wrote "The Queen of Spades" in Florence in the early spring of 1890. The literary basis of the libretto is Alexander Pushkin's novella of the same name. It was written by Modest Tchaikovsky, brother of the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Tchaikovsky's great opera tells the story of the officer Herman, who is a highly romantic character with wild passions and a fiery imagination. Herman is in love with Liza, a wealthy relative of the old Countess, whom everyone fears. She knows the secret of the three cards that can be used to win at any game. The Countess shared the secret only twice: once to her husband, and a second time to a young handsome man. If she betrays the secret a third time, death will befall her.
Herman decides to make the Countess reveal the secret of the three cards to him – that way he will get rich and Liza will be his. The young officer manages to sneak into the old lady's room and threatens her to reveal her secret to him. The Countess is frightened and dies of terror. Liza is shocked at the thought that Herman has not entered their home for her, but for the Countess's secret. The young girl cries and laments her fate.
The ghost of the Countess appears and orders the officer to marry Liza. Herman sets Liza an appointment to wait for him on the waterfront, but he sinks into a game of cards. At first he wins, but then, on the third card, the queen of spades appears in his hand instead of the ace. Herman loses everything. Meanwhile, Liza is desperate as she thinks the officer doesn't love her. Greatly upset, the young lady throws herself into the river. Devastated by the two losses, Gremin commits suicide.
This is in short the content of the opera. It alternates the drama of tragedy and acute situations with more serene scenes.
The premiere of "The Queen of Spades" was on 31 December 1891 in St Petersburg. In Bulgaria the premiere of "The Queen of Spades" was in 1926 in Sofia. Conductor was Yuri Pomerantsev, a Russian musician working in Sofia at the time.
In the main roles on 10 March we will see: Herman – Martin Iliev, Liza – Tsvetana Bandalovska, Countess – Vesela Yaneva. On 23 March, the same roles will be performed by Eduard Martyniuk, Diana Guglina Lamar and Gergana Rusekova. Andrei Galanov will conduct, the production will be directed by Vera Petrova.