Pjotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
«Pique Dame», Opera in three acts after the novel of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, semi-staged performance
Tchaikovsky composed ten operas, but only two have become fixtures on the international stage: Eugene Onegin and Queen of Spades/Pique Dame. The reason is obvious. Both operas are based on texts by Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s most revered poet. Considered the founder of modern Russian literature, Pushkin was the Russian romantic par excellence. The same can be said of Tchaikovsky, his kindred spirit. «Pique Dame» is arguably Tchaikovsky’s most important opera. That was already clear to Tchaikovsky’s contemporaries: The royal couple attended the final rehearsal for the premiere in December 1890. And on opening night, the composer was presented a silver cross after the first act of and a laurel wreath after the second. The sensational success of the opera continues to this day.