Tchaikovsky - The Queen of Spades - The Bolshoi Opera

Tchaikovsky - The Queen of Spades - The Bolshoi Opera

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It is rare when four of the Bolshoi’s greatest stars appear together in their home theatre in one of Russian opera’s masterpieces. The opera was Tchaikovsky’s, The Queen Of Spades, (Pique Dream), and Kultur is proud to present it here, complete, for the first time on DVD. With a libretto written by the composer’s brother, Modest, this tale of terror, with a plot involving obsessive love and gambling, hallucinations and descent into madness never fails to have a profound effect on its audience. The Bolshoi’s production is riveting, with sumptuous sets and costumes, and the famed Bolshoi chorus and corps de ballet are at their most elegant and spectacular.

The role of Herman is taken by tenor Vladimir Atlantov and his singing and acting of the mad soldier who is responsible for two deaths (in addition to his own) is one of the crowning achievements of his career. Soprano Tamara Malashkina sings Lisa, Herman’s beloved, and she is rightly acknowledged as the finest interpreter of this part. Yuri Mazurok brings his beautiful baritone voice to the role of Yeletsky, who is engaged to and then spurned by Lisa. Last, but certainly not least is internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Elena Obratsova as the imperious old Countess, the woman who, Herman believes, holds the secret to winning at cards. The scene in which Herman literally scares the old woman to death trying to wring her secrets from her is one of the most spine-chilling in all of opera, a scene about which Tcahikovsky himself wrote that he felt such horror, such gruesome thrills, that surely the listener cannot escape the same impression.”

Conductor Yuri Simonov leads the Bolshoi forces with great passion and excitement in this once-in-a-lifetime performance. Old fans of this opera will realize how great this production is; newcomers will be amazed at what they have been missing. This is the Bolshoi at its best –a most thrilling presentation of a great work. -Robert Levine

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