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Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades / Boder, Didyk, Magee, Ataneli, Tezier [Blu-Ray]

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades)
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Obsessive in gambling and in love, the soldier Hermann is the protagonist of Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame, based on a story by Pushkin. He is smitten with the aristocratic Lisa and fixated on learning the winning secret of 'the three cards' from her grandmother, the Countess, played by iconic contralto Ewa Podles. This opulent production from Barcelona's Liceu captures St Petersburg in the era of Catherine the Great, while the house's Music Director Michael Boden conducts a large and impressive cast. "A Voice of Ravishing Luster" (New York Times) American soprano Emily Magee has become recognized as one of the most important new voices of her generation. Her lush, radiant soprano, combined with an artistic intelligence and a vibrant, attractive stage presence has made her in demand in the most important opera houses in the world. She performs on stages throughout the world under the direction of such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Riccardo Muti, Donald Runnicles, Antonio Pappano, Zubin Mehta, Christian Thielemann, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Simone Young, Daniele Gatti, among others. Her wide ranging repertoire includes works from Britten to Zandonai, concentrating primarily on the works of Richard Strauss, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, and Janácek. She has appeared in many of the major opera houses of the world, including London, Vienna, Milan, Paris, Berlin, Zürich, Munich, Barcelona, Chicago, San Francisco, as well as the renowned Festivals of Bayreuth and Salzburg.

Positive Feedback Online
it was immediately appealing to me... All the voices seemed particularly good, full and pleasingly sounding and the Blu-ray audio quality is easily the equal of any I have heard during the past few months as is the orchestral performance (same goes for the video quality)

There is an off-the-screen palpability to this production. The costumes and settings are simply outstanding in the best grand opera tradition. The videography is as good as it gets for an opera production. The colors and details as evidenced in the Act II pastorale sequence are eye-popping. With plenty of close ups, it is fortunate that most of the principals are reasonably telegenic.

A musical version of the Whoopi Goldberg-Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore film Ghost is currently playing in London (with a score co-written by the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart), but one could argue at least partially feasibly that the Tchaikovsky brothers scanned much the same territory with Pique Dame. True, the Ghost here is bent on revenge, not reuniting with a former lover, and in fact the love story here may well be between Hermann and the cash he desires seemingly more than anything, but the supernatural element is one of the most distinctive things about this opera, and it's one which this opulent production masters quite handily. If this production isn't exactly bursting with innovation, it's at least solid musically and offers an incredibly opulent production design. Recommended.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 183 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM 2.0, DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan


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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades)
  • Performers: Lado Ataneli (Baritone); Misha Didyk (Tenor); Emily Magee (Soprano); Ewa Podles (Mezzo Soprano); Claudia Schneider (Soprano); Ludovic Tézier (Baritone); Francisco Vas (Tenor); Mikhail Vekua (Tenor); Elena Zaremba (Contralto)
  • Conductor: Michael Boder
  • Ensemble: Gran Teatre del Liceu Chorus
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1890