Three spring premieres on the Opéra de Lyon | EUROtoday

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Peter Tchaikovsky's “Queen of Spades” fully hooker-free! Incomprehensible! After the director's determination lately to have “Queen of Spades” performed amongst hookers who, after all, don’t even seem within the play, the Russian director Timofei Kulyabin has now taken Tchaikovsky's social panorama, Alexander Pushkin's horror novella, to the identical degree on the Lyon Opera from Ivan Turgenev's late novels, decidedly up to date, politicized and nonetheless advised for what it’s: a tragedy about social hierarchy, gender roles practiced from childhood and pathological playing dependancy. The lead to Lyon – you may't say that usually, however on this case it has to – is sensational.

Kulyabin, whose identify grew to become internationally identified by way of his manufacturing of Richard Wagner's “Tannhäuser” in Novosibirsk, which was banned by the censors as a result of Christ appeared within the Mount of Venus, has needed to go away his homeland as a declared opponent of Russia's struggle of aggression towards Ukraine.

In Oleg Golowko's elaborate stage design, which is usually divided into foremost and secondary scenes, Kulyabin turns the German soldier Hermann right into a bodyguard for the luxury-addicted nouveau riche in as we speak's Russia. The outdated countess, who is claimed to know the key of the three fortunate playing cards and for whom Pushkin's lady-in-waiting Natalia Golitsyna was godmother, turns into with Kulyabin the astrologer and religion healer Djuna Dawitashvili, who was already an illustrious socialite within the Soviet Union and even in post-Soviet Russia the politics went.

Costume party of the nouveau riche chic in Russia in “Queen of Spades”.

Costume celebration of the nouveau riche stylish in Russia in “Queen of Spades”.

Image: Jean-Louis Fernandez

The courtroom ball with an look by Tsarina Catherine II turns into a dressing up celebration for the nouveau riche. Prince Jeletsky, who has change into engaged to Lisa, needs to hide his homosexuality with the wedding of comfort – and apparently with Lisa's consent – (we instantly perceive why Tchaikovsky has the prince announce the engagement in elegiac G minor). Lisa believes that Hermann loves her passionately and desires to enter exile with him. When he, hooked on playing, doesn't come alongside, she goes alone (as an alternative of throwing herself into the Neva). In the ultimate recreation scene, the prince, who additionally despatched his lover to to migrate, comes out and is shot.

Already originally, within the kids's choir, Kulyabin tells the story of Russia because the militarization of the inhabitants within the service of an empire, the expansion of which is proven on a projected map. “From the conquest of Kazan in 1552 to the revolution of 1917,” writes Orlando Figes in his e book “Natasha’s Dance,” “the Russian Empire grew by over 100,000 square kilometers annually.” This connection between militarism, imperialism and occultism, which Tchaikovsky describes with the best precision, has hardly ever been seen as clearly labored by way of on the scene as it’s right here.