Today, 25 April, NOVAT is collecting memories of one of the best composers of the world – Petr Ilich Chaikovsky, who was born on this day according to the Julian calendar. There are a lot of performances based on the works of this outstanding lyricist of the XIX century: “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Nutcracker”, “Swan Lake” and “The Queen of Spades. The Game” a performance based on one of the most mystic and psychologically troubled Russian operas, staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev, the director of NOVAT.
“An ironic twist of fate – the house, where the composer died (13, Malaya Morskaya st.) and which is now occupied with a kindergarten, stays right in front of the house of Natalia Petrovna Golitsina, an inspiration for “The Queen of Spades” (10, Malaya Morskaya st., built by Alexander Ton) – tells Vyacheslav Starodubtsev – now it’s occupied with N1 Ministry of Defense Policlinic.”
Pushkin wrote this in his diary 7 April 1834: “At the court, they found some similarities between the old countess and Natalia Petrovna, and She seems to be calm about that.” By the way Pushkin himself, lived next to those places, on 26/14 Bolshaya Morskaya street.
Vyacheslav Starodubtves says that it was pure destiny that led him to Malaya Morskaya street. “If you want to feel a history, it only takes to persuade a watchman to tell you his opinion on the historic events and he will elucidate you like an experienced museum guide – noted Vyacheslav Starodubtsev – these interiors encourage you to make a movie or a performance. Today it is still a place for the ageless story with a wheelchair left at the entrance, nurses in white scrubs, pottering around busy as bees and modern versions of Herman – young officers, humbly waiting for their turn at the gates, which only keep their diagnosis in patient’s cards instead of playing cards. Surrealism as it is.”
This is what Pushkin wrote about this house in his novel: “A vast hall. The gala marble stairs leading to a fireplace on the court-yard. A tall semicircular mirror hangs above it, with a small round watch inside it. There are hardly readable roman numbers on it. It says below: Leroy Paris.”
Vyacheslav Starodubtsev made the photos, depicting precisely the state of this eternal building, which kept it all safe – the mirror above the fireplace with the old “Leroy Paris” watch, left here since the “mustached countess” times, the ancient stairs with the forged handrails, which Herman might have used to leave the house after the rendezvous.