‘Either I am horribly mistaken, Modya, or this opera is a masterpiece.’
When Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky wrote those words to his brother Modest in 1890, he didn’t know yet that history would prove him right. He composed The Queen of Spades, for which his brother wrote the libretto, in a feverish burst of creative energy. Unlike in the work of the same name by Pushkin, Herman in the opera is torn between his feelings for Liza and a destructive idée fixe. The delusions of card games, a consuming passion, and the menace of fate are among the elements that Tchaikovsky uses to depict poetic moments that contrast with extravagant scenes set in high society. Do the fears and neuroses of the characters in The Queen of Spades have a particular resonance with our age? This is what the director David Marton, who previously staged Capriccio at La Monnaie, will set out to explore. Nathalie Stutzmann performed in our recital series in 2015; this will be her first time conducting at La Monnaie.