And What is Love? A Game!

October 17, 2016

The next performance of The Queen of Spades, the premiere of which became the first one in current opera season of NOVAT, will be shown on November 12th. The production authors conductor Dmitry Jurowski and stage director Vyacheslav Starodubtsev thank the audience for the warm reception.

Dmitry Jurowski, musical director and conductor of the production: Tchaikovskys work has always been an amazing synthesis of European and Russian cultures. But this production is more inclined to European spirit. The production team did a great job trying to match the dramatic essence of each character with visual content. As for the musical part, we made an attempt to smoothen those episodes that are considered to be monumental, and added more lyrical and fine nuances to them.

Vyacheslav Starodubtsev, stage director, mentioned: Tchaikovsky is genius, and any stage concept would be weaker than the musical dramaturgy of this masterpiece. I intentionally made the production on a nearly empty stage, without extra props and sets, because the vocal and acting expressiveness is the main thing. I want the audience to see the wonderful soloists on the peak of dramatic expressiveness .

NOVAT issued a unique booklet for the production. It is original even from the viewpoint of design. In particular, as a tribute to the bygone age, it includes a herbarium, collected at places that keep the memory about the great Russian composer: a maple leaf, picked up near Tchaikovskys monument at Alexander Nevsky Monastery in Saint Petersburg, a rose petal, picked nearby Tchaikovskys memorial museum in Klin. One of the most precious documents was a facsimile of the last page of The Queen of Spades score, at the end of which Piotr Ilyich wrote: I thank God!.

In our booklet we published several rare pictures taken at the premiere of Meyerholds production in 1935, - says Vyacheslav Starodubtsev. We also placed a unique copy of libretto, where, by Tchaikovskys hand, the third verse of the famous aria Whats our life? A game! was written but it was never used in the score. It can be seen there, that it was supposed to begin with the following words: And what is love? A game! A wealth, and charms of beauty