The Queen of Spades [Opera in Three Acts; Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky after Alexander Pushkin]
Hermann – Pawel Wunder
Prince Yeletsky – Mark Stone
Count Tomsky – Matthew Hargreaves
Lisa – Orla Boylan
The Countess – Carole Wilson
Chekalinsky – Aled Hall
Surin – Omar Ebrahim
Polina – Antonia Sotgiu
Governess – Sarah Pring
Chaplitsky / MC – Rob Burt
Masha – Stephanie Bodsworth
Narumov – Mark Saberton

Opera Holland Park Chorus

City of London Sinfonia
Stuart Stratford

Martin Lloyd-Evans – Director
Jamie Vartan – Set design
Colin Grenfell – Lighting design
CD No: Opera Holland Park, London
Reviewed: July 2006
The Queen of Spades was completed in June,1890 and given its premiere in December 1890.
There had been difficulties with the setting of Pushkin’s tale of obsession, betrayed love, the secret of the three cards and, finally, death. So Modest,Tchaikovsky’s brother, took over and gave the world the opera we all know.
There are some problems with this new production, but this is not perhaps the place to discuss them. We merely have to admire the performance and the production as it stands. And there is much to admire. Stuart Stratford’s performance of the score made up in romantic fervour what it lacked in Tchaikovskian melodrama.
The opening scene in the park, Hermann and Lisa seeing each other, and the Love theme rising out of the orchestra; the ensuing discussion between Chekalinsky and Surin of the previous night’s gambling: all were wonderful. Excellent performances, too, from from Aled Hall & Omar Ebrahim, even if they did verge on the knock-about.


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