Sunday, 28 June 2015

English National Opera's The Queen of Spades, London Coliseum

Image Credit: English National Opera

Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades is based on Alexander Pushkin's short story.  The opera tells the story of a desperate army officer whose desire is to win at all costs and turns to an aged countess (sung by the legendary Felicity Palmer) who knows the secret of winning cards! Hermann's (sung by Peter Bronder) determination to possess the right cards leads to unimaginable consequences involving love and even death.  

The composition matches perfectly to the opera's themes, greed, obsession and manipulation and they are explored with dramatic and dark musical melodies, lyrics and orchestration.   Collaborated both by two incredible creators; Edward Gardner, his last production with English National Opera as musical director, and David Alder, an award winning director.  Their superb collaboration projects this dark complex opera to the highest of standards.

Gideon Davey's set is unusual but works extremely well with the production and its diverse story and there is great use of visuals too.  The set is complimented by Wolfgang Goebel's lighting which reflects the emotions and moods expected in this Tchaikovsky's opera.  An excellent opera sung powerfully and beautifully by a talented international cast. Full credit to English National Opera!

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