The Queen of Spades, Tchaikovsky – Opera
Sir Andrew Davis, Graham Vick – With Nancy Gustafson, Yuri Marusin, Felicity Palmer – Glyndebourne Festival

The unforgettable Nancy Gustavson gives life to Lisa, the unlucky lover of Hermann in the tragic story of The Queen of spades.

Herman, a young officer, is in love with an unknown woman from the nobility. The beautiful young lady eventually appears to be Lisa, the fiancée of Prince Yeletski, Herman’s army friend. But Lisa is unhappy with this engagement imposed on her. She prefers the romantic personality of Herman. Herman and Lisa meet in secret and declare their undying love to each other. But Herman has no money. What to do? Lisa’s grandmother, the Countess, is said to know the secret to win without fail at card games. Breaking into the old woman’s room, Herman begs the Countess to reveal her secret. Terrified by the threatening young man, the Countess dies. Lisa, walking into the room, discovers her lover in front of her grandmother’s corpse. Crying, she beseeches Hermann to leave at once. The Countess’ ghost appears to Hermann, and reveals to the young man the secret: the three winning cards are three, seven and ace. After a last meeting with Hermann, Lisa realizes that there is no hope and jump into the Neva. Herman, in a state of madness, goes to the casino and bets the whole of his savings. He loses everything. The last winning card was not an ace, but the queen of spades.

Inspired by the The Queen of spades written by Alexander Pouchkine, Tchaikovski’s opera was premiered in Saint Petersburg in 1890. The Queen of spades is an intense work in which death seems to be the unavoidable outcome. The remarkable production by Graham Vick plunges the spectator into the desperate love story between the innocent Lisa and Hermann, a dark character falling progressively into madness.

Graham Vick stage director
Thomas Webster lightings
Richard Hudson set designer
Ron Howell choreography


Yuri Marusin (Herman)
Nancy Gustafson (Lisa)
Felicity Palmer (The Countess)
Sergei Leiferkus (Count Tomsky)
Dimitri Kharitonov (Prince Yeletsky)
Graeme Matheson-Bruce (Tchekalinsky)
Andrew Slater (Surin)
Robert Burt (Tchaplitsky)
Christopher Thornton-Holmes (Narumov)
Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Lisa's friend)
Enid Hartle (The Governess)
Anne Dawson (Chloë)
Geoffrey Pogson (Master of Ceremonies)
Rachael Tovey (Lisa's Maid)


London Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Davis conductor
Glyndebourne Chorus
David Angus chorus director

Movie director : Peter Maniura
Playlist : Russian music
Music genre : Voice

Duration : 02 h 49 min
Location : Glyndebourne (Lewes, Great Britain)
Production date : 1992
Production : © BBC & RM Arts & Glyndebourne Festival Productions Limited
Available version(s) : RU ST EN