|Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky|
|19 December 1890, St Peterburg (Marjinsky Theatre)|
|The Queen of Spades Synopsis|
|The Queen of Spades Libretto|
The Queen of Spades, Op. 68 (Russian: Pikovaya dama, French: Pique Dame) is an opera in 3 acts (7 scenes) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to a Russian libretto by the composer's brother Modest Tchaikovsky, based on a short story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. The premiere took place in 1890 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The management of the Imperial Theatre offered a commission to Tchaikovsky to write an opera based on the plot sketch by Ivan Vsevolozhsky in 1887/88. After turning it down initially, Tchaikovsky accepted it in 1889. Toward the end of that year, he met with the theater's managers to discuss the material and sketch out some of the scenes.
He completed the full score of the opera in Florence in only 44 days. Later on, working with the tenor who was to perform the lead character's part, he created two versions of Herman’s aria in the seventh scene, using two different keys. The changes can be found in the proof sheets and inserts for the first and second editions of the printed version of the score.
While composing the music, Tchaikovsky actively edited the libretto, changing some of the text and adding his own lyrics to two arias.
|Master of Ceremonies||Tenor|
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