The First Opera Premiere of the Autumn will be Dedicated to the Memory of Vsevolod Meyerhold

October 06, 2016

The first opera premiere of the 72nd season will be The Queen of Spades. The Game. Musical director and conductor Dmitry Jurowski and stage director Vyacheslav Starodubtsev are working on the opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. A production designed is Italian masque theatre stylistics will be dedicated to the memory of Vsevolod Meyerhold.

"A lot of people imagine "The Queen of Spades" as a story that that takes place in the depressive grey St. Petersburg. But that is not so, - says Vyacheslav Starodubtsev. - Pyotr Tchaikovsky went to Florence to work on this opera in particular, in order to get inspired by the beauty of the city of Dante and Michelangelo".

All characters of the production, in accordance with its authors’ idea, have their own alter ego in the card deck. Each soloist or chorus artist corresponds a card of some suit. But the main character of the opera Hermann has his own unique position. “He has neither number, nor suit, - mentions Vyacheslav Starodubtsev, - Music by Tchaikovsky has made a Dostoyevsky's character out of Hermann, rather than Pushkin's. My idea was to oppose him, an ordinary man, to the rest of the world of gambling”.

The production is dedicated to the memory of Vsevolod Meyerhold, and not by chance. The production team takes into account the conditions of the game that are determined by the scale of the grandiose Theatre hall. “We work a lot on the actors' convincing intonation, but we cannot follow the rules of psychological theatre only, - the stage director says, - They are sometimes really hard to notice even when watching from the first row, let alone the amphitheatre or the circles, and here is where the biomechanics of Meyerhold, who was fond of Italian theatre, comes to rescue, where expressiveness of the body, poses and gestures play an important role.” Specially for the production premiere a unique booklet is being prepared by the state memorial reserve museum n.a. P. Tchaikovsky in Klin and the museum of the Mikhailovsky Theatre; premiere performance of The Queen of Spades in staging by Vsevolod Meyerhold took place in 1935 on its stage.

Musical director and conductor - Dmitry Jurowski. Author of the artistic concept, stage director - Vyacheslav Starodubtsev. Set designer - Pyotr Okunev. Costume designer - Zhanna Usachyova, Lighting designer - Alexei Tarasov. Stage choirmaster - Vyacheslav Podyelsky. Video - Vadim Dulenko. Plastique - Artur Oschepkov.

The production features; Hermann - Honoured Artist of Russia Oleg Videman, Mikhail Agafonov, Roman Zavadsky. Lisa - Irina Churilova, Olga Kolobova, Irina Novikova, Yulia Shagdurova. The Countess - Honoured Artist of Russia Olga Obukhova, Svetlana Tokareva. Tomsky - Maksim Aniskin, Alexey Zelenkov. Yeletsky - Pavel Yankovsky, Valery Gordeev.

The upcoming premiere will become the fifth production of the opera by Tchaikovsky on the Novosibirsk stage. Originally the opera was staged by conductor Isidor Zak and stage director Naum Fried in 1946. The famous "black & white" Queen of Spades, which became a subject of much controversy, was staged in 1964 (conductor - Mikhail Bukhbinder, stage director - Emil Pasynkov, stage designer - Valery Dorrer). It was that production in which a student of the IV year of the Novosibirsk Conservatoire, afterwards an Honoured Artist of the USSR Valery Egudin, made his debut in the part of Hermann; part of the Countess was brilliantly performed by an Honoured Artist of the USSR Lidia Myasnikova, one of the most distinguished mezzo sopranos of the country. The 1969 production staged by Emil Pasynkov became a long-liver of the Novosibirsk stage and existed up until the end of the 90s. The Queen of Spades staged by Alexei Stepanyuk in 2005 was the last production of the opera.