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Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades
July 18 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Tchaikovsky anticipated the 20th century with this surreal masterpiece about obsession and psychosis, qualities given all the more power juxtaposed with the elegant milieu and music of its 18th century setting. Like Eugene Onegin, it is based on a celebrated work by Pushkin, but with a critical difference—Onegin was aptly subtitled “lyrical scenes,” while The Queen of Spades, composed in 44 days of intense inspiration, is an inexorable drama played out in a sweeping 19th century score.
Gherman parlays his love for the young aristocrat Lisa into a life-and-death wager, using their mutual attraction to mask his entrée to her grandmother’s bedchamber. There, he confronts the aged Countess, known as the Queen of Spades, who long ago learned the secret to certain success when gambling at cards. She dies of fright, but her ghost soon conveys the formula to Gherman: “Three, seven, ace!” In his madness, Gherman rejects Lisa, with lethal results, then makes an enormous bet at the gambling table. He wins, first with a three and then a seven, but his final card is the Queen of Spades. The Countess’s ghost appears again and claims her macabre winnings—Gherman’s life.
Contact: Scott Arens
More Info: http://desmoinesmetroopera.org/productions/queenofspades/