Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades ***
English National Opera, 6th June 2015
“What if there is no secret?
And all this is but the vain delirium of my sick spirit?”
Hermann’s lines as he steals into the Countess’ bedroom give David Alden his trump card in his ENO staging of The Queen of Spades. It’s all a dream, allowing Alden to stage Tchaikovsky’s opera as the delirious ramblings of a man imprisoned in his own mind. Hallucinatory Hermann lies on his asylum bed. Hands on the clock never budge. How much of what happens is real? Pushkin’s supernatural tale of obsession (Pikovaya dama ) becomes a tired assemblage of Alden tropes, but is stylishly delivered.
Read the full review on Bachtrack.