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The Queen of Spades tickets

 
 
The Queen of Spades

Venue: Mariinsky-2

 
ulitsa Dekabristov, 29
St Petersburg
Russia
 
 
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Event details
 

Synopsis

 

Act 1

Scene 1

During the reign of Catherine the Great (1762–96), children are at play in St. Petersburg's Summer Garden pretending to be soldiers. Two officers — Tsurin and Chekalinsky — enter, the former complaining about his bad luck at gambling. They remark that another officer, Herman, seems obsessed with the gaming table but never bets, being frugal and methodical. Herman appears with Tomsky, who remarks that his friend hardly seems like his old self: is anything bothering him? Herman admits he is in love with a girl above his station whose name he does not even know. When Prince Yeletsky, an officer, strolls into the park, Chekalinsky congratulates him on his recent engagement. Yeletsky declares his happiness while Herman, aside, curses him enviously. Yeletsky points out his fiancée, Liza, who has just appeared with her grandmother, the old Countess. Catching sight of Herman, the two women note they have seen him before, staring at them with frightening intensity. Herman realizes that Liza is his unknown beloved. When Yeletsky and the women leave, Herman is lost in thought as the other officers discuss the Countess: known as the Queen of Spades and formerly as the Muskovite Venus, due to her beauty, she succeeded at gambling in her youth by trading amorous favors for the winning formula of Count St. Germain in Paris. Tomsky says only two men, her husband and, later on, her young lover, ever learned her secret, because she was warned by an apparition to beware a "third suitor" who would try to force it from her. Musing on the winning sequence of three cards, the others lightly suggest that such a combination would solve Herman's problems. Threatened by approaching thunder, all leave except Herman, who vows to learn the Countess' secret.

Scene 2

At home, Liza plays the spinet as she and her friend Pauline sing a duet about evening in the countryside. Their girlfriends ask to hear more, so Pauline launches into a sad ballad, followed by a dancelike song. As the merriment increases, Liza remains pensively apart. A Governess chides the girls for indulging in unbecoming folk dancing and asks the visitors to leave. Pauline, the last to go, urges Liza to cheer up; Liza replies that after a storm there is a beautiful night and asks the maid, Masha, not to close the French windows to the balcony. Alone, Liza voices her unhappiness with her engagement; she has been stirred by the romantic look of the young man in the park. To her shock, Herman appears on the balcony. Claiming he is about to shoot himself over her betrothal to another, he begs her to take pity on him. When the Countess is heard knocking, Liza hides Herman and opens the door to the old woman, who tells her to shut the windows and go to bed. After the Countess retires, Liza asks Herman to leave but is betrayed by her feelings and falls into his embrace.

 

Act 2

Scene 1

Not long afterward, at a masked ball, Herman's comrades comment on his obsession with the secret of the winning cards. Yeletsky passes with Liza, noting her sadness and reassuring her of his love. This is where the famous aria ya vas lublyu is sung. Herman receives a note from Liza, asking him to meet her later. Tsurin and Chekalinsky sneak up behind him with the intent of playing a joke on him, muttering he is the "third suitor" who will learn the Countess's secret, then melt into the crowd as Herman wonders whether he is hearing things. The master of ceremonies announces a tableau of shepherdesses. Liza slips Herman the key to her grandmother's room, saying the old woman will not be there the next day, but Herman insists on coming that very night. Thinking fate is handing him the Countess' secret, he leaves. The guests' attention turns to the imminent arrival of Catherine the Great, for which a polonaise by O. Kozlovsky is played and sung in greeting.

Scene 2

Herman slips into the Countess' room and looks in fascination at the portrait of Muskovite Venus and how their fates, he feels, are linked: one of them will die because of the other. He lingers too long before he can go to Liza's room and hears the Countess' retinue coming, so he conceals himself as the old lady approaches. The Countess deplores the manners of the day and reminisces about the better times of her youth, when she sang in Versailles "Je crains de lui parler la nuit" (Laurette's Aria) from André Grétry's operaRichard Cœur-de-Lion before the Pompadour herself. As she dozes off, Herman stands before her. She awakens in horror as he pleads with her to tell him her secret. When she remains speechless, he grows desperate and threatens her with a pistol — at which she dies of fright. Liza rushes in, only to learn that the lover to whom she gave her heart was more interested in the Countess's secret. She orders him out and falls sobbing.

 

Act 3

Scene 1

In his room at the barracks, as the winter wind howls, Herman reads a letter from Liza, who wants him to meet her at midnight by the river bank. He imagines he hears the chorus chanting at the old Countess' funeral, then is startled by a knock at the window. The old woman's ghost appears, announcing that against her will she must tell him the secret so that he can marry and save Liza. Dazed, Herman repeats the three cards — three, seven, ace.

Scene 2

By the Winter Canal, Liza waits for Herman: it is already near midnight, and though she clings to a forlorn hope that he still loves her, she sees her youth and happiness swallowed in darkness. At last he appears, but after uttering words of reassurance, he starts to babble wildly about the Countess and her secret. No longer even recognizing Liza, he rushes away. Realizing that all is lost, she commits suicide.

Scene 3

At a gambling house, Herman's fellow officers are finishing supper and getting ready to play faro. Yeletsky, who has not gambled before, joins the group because his engagement has been broken: "unlucky in love, lucky at cards." Tomsky entertains the others with a song. Then Chekalinsky leads a traditional gamblers' song. Settling down to play, they are surprised when Herman arrives, wild and distracted. Yeletsky senses a confrontation and asks Tomsky to be his second if a duel should result. Herman, intent only on betting, starts with a huge bet of 40,000 rubles. He bets the three and wins, upsetting the others with his maniacal expression. Next he bets the seven and wins again. At this he takes a wine glass and declares that life is but a game. Yeletsky accepts his challenge to bet on the next round. Herman bets everything he has on the ace but when he shows his card he is told he is holding the queen of spades. Seeing the Countess' ghost laughing at her vengeance, Herman takes his own life and asks Yeletsky's and Liza's forgiveness. The others pray for his tormented soul.

 
Venue
 
Mariinsky-2
 

The building, covering 79114 m2, will be one of the largest theatre and concert venues in the world. The auditorium will seat up to 2000 people at full capacity. There new theatre has seven storeys above ground and three below. There is the main stage, a rehearsal stage and backstage premises; rehearsal rooms for the ballet company, the opera company and the orchestra; premises for 1000 various members of staff; chamber premises in the foyer which can house educational projects for children and young people; a rooftop amphitheatre which is to be a venue for the Stars of the White Nights festival; and underground car parking for staff. 


Alongside the historic building of the Mariinsky Theatre, built in 1860, and the Concert Hall which opened in 2006, the Mariinsky II will form part of this theatre and concert complex, unique in its artistic and educational capabilities. This complex will reiterate the status of the Mariinsky Theatre as one of the world’s most important cultural institutions.

 

Exterior 
The exterior of the building is made of beige Jura limestone, interspersed with syncopated floor-to-ceiling windows of various sizes, and a metal roof. These windows will afford, from outside, a view of the theatre’s inner foyer and, from the inside, of the Kryukov canal. A glass and steel canopy extends over the main entrance to the theatre (the corner of Dekabristov St and the Kryukov Canal). 
A rooftop terrace and amphitheatre will offer breathtaking vistas of the entire city. In warmer months there will also be concerts of chamber music here.

Foyer 
The main foyer, with its two levels, features rear-lit onyx stone walls that surround the auditorium and Emperador marble floors. Jura beige limestone walls frame the various windows that look onto Dekabristov Street and the Kryukov canal. Thanks to the surrounding glass façade, the foyer will be illuminated during the day by an abundance of natural light. For evening performances, custom-designed Swarovski chandeliers will illuminate the space. The main foyer provides unique views of the Mariinsky Theatre across the canal. 
Public areas have been designed as an integral and complementary component of the building and create a sense of dramatic arrival and fluid movement. A variety of staircases thread through the foyer, including a dramatic 33-metre architectural glass staircase that traverses the north side of the foyer, connecting every above-ground level of the building. The foyer is split into several individual spaces of various sizes. 
The lobby amphitheatre, located on the 3rd floor, will serve as an additional space for educational projects, interactive programmes for children and young people, chamber music concerts and artistic exhibitions.

Auditorium 
While the auditorium is a contemporary hall, its principles are those of famous 18th and 19th century opera houses, with a horseshoe shape and three balcony levels. This configuration has proved to be ideal for intimacy, acoustics, sightlines, audience comfort and overall cohesion of the hall. 
The sculptured beech balcony fronts are shaped by acoustical demands. The use of three balconies instead of four allows for more height between levels and creates better sound dispersion, especially for the rows located farther back.

The production lighting meets the latest demands of artistic productions while Swarovski accent lights are studded in the balcony fronts and are designed to give sparkle to the hall, as small candelabras once did in old theatres. 
Carefully selected with acoustic considerations in mind, the floors of the auditorium are oak parquet on a wooden substructure with gypsum perimeter walls and ceilings. 
Auditorium seats are fabricated by Estel Group in Italy. The fabric was manufactured by Danish Art Weaving. 
The VIP box contains beech wood balcony fronts, leather walls and a Swarovski chandelier.

Stage 
The new hall will have a main stage and a rehearsal stage, along with ample supporting areas divided by acoustic doors and curtains. The three stage areas can merge to become a single stage or be used independently, depending on the scale and technical requirements of the performance.

Stage Equipment 
The stage machinery selected for the new theatre means that it will be utterly unique. The theatre can offer an essentially endless series of performances, rehearsals and installations of productions. The stage machinery has been designed and installed specifically to ensure this endless working process as well as the greatest possible functionality. 
When developing the concept of the stage space, the most exemplary contemporary analogies were used, as have been the best practices of recently built or recently renovated theatres throughout the world. The reconstruction practices and greatest technical solutions at London’s Royal Opera House, Copenhagen’s Royal Opera, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet and many other theatres have been employed. 
The stage space has been broken down into individual zones, each of which fulfils its own strictly defined function. This includes the main stage, backstage, the side pockets, the rehearsal stage, the installation zone and the loading and unloading zone with its component assembly area. This division of space makes it possible to have the sets for at least four productions in the stage area at the same time. Moreover, at the same time, the main stage can be hosting the most technically demanding production in terms of sets, the rehearsal stage a full-scale rehearsal, the sets for the next performance can be assembled in the installation zone and other sets loaded or unloaded in the cargo dock. 
The stage is equipped with a system of rolling platforms and compensators, rising and falling platforms and fixed point hoists. All machinery elements are automated and are used via a control panel. This means the theatre will be able to host incredibly bold productions and the company will be able to work without any technical limitations whatsoever.

Orchestra Pit 
The orchestra pit is equipped with a moveable acoustic wall developed to allow for varying orchestral and acoustic needs. At full capacity, the pit is 170 m2 and holds up to 120 musicians. 
The pit is also equipped with three platforms: a smaller one in the rear and two larger ones in the front. These can be raised or lowered to different levels depending on the instrumentation and the desired sound.

Acoustics 
The Mariinsky II has been designed to create ideal acoustic conditions. At about 18000 m3, the hall has an ideal volume and is comparable to the world’s most renowned opera houses. 
The auditorium’s floor is separated from the concrete foundations by sound-absorbing wooden structures. 
Solid wood balustrades arranged in an overlapping sequence with embedded light fixtures are located throughout the auditorium to aid sound diffusion. 
Uniquely designed 2 to 3 metre pieces of concave plaster have also been installed throughout the auditorium to disperse sound the sound better. 
The modulated surfaces of these inclined wall claddings are a modern-day version of the decorative elements found in historic opera houses to improve acoustics.

Rehearsal Spaces 
The new theatre incorporates numerous spacious rehearsal areas, including ones for the ballet company, the orchestra and chorus as well as large multifunctional rehearsal rooms and additional individual rehearsal rooms. Rehearsal room walls and ceilings are clad in special veneered and sound-absorbing panels.

Rooftop Amphitheatre 
The rooftop amphitheatre provides panoramic views of St Petersburg and can accommodate up to 200 people. The amphitheatre will play an important role in the Stars of the White Nights music festival.

 
 
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