Opera Scotland

Queen of Spades 1986Maly Theatre, Leningrad

Read more about the opera Queen of Spades

In the Soviet era, the Bolshoi and Kirov companies were regular visitors to London, but never to Scotland - there was no theatre that could accommodate them. The first Soviet opera company to visit the Edinburgh Festival was therefore Leningrad's second company, the Maly. They brought three works - solidly traditional versions of Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, and a recent work by Sergei Slonimsky, based on the life of Maria Stuart. All were directed by Stanislav Gaudasinsky, who was appointed to direct the company in 1980.

It was The Queen of Spades that seemed to represent them at their best. The two mezzos, Irina Bogachova, from the Kirov, and Nina Romanova, were particularly good and they also oappeared in Onegin. It was effective and dramatic, even if the staging seemed rather old-fashioned.


The 1986 Festival

The Edinburgh Festival's Director, Frank Dunlop, was definitely a man of the theatre, and many Festivalls had enjoyed the fruits of his labour since the sixties. He had not previously directed an opera, but the highlight in 1986 was clearly his staging of Weber's Oberon, the pantomime elements of which suited him to a tee. The Maly Theatre from Leningrad were the first Russian opera company to visit the Festival, bringing three productions, at a time when it was quite unthinkable that the Kirov and Bolshoi would be almost frequent visitors within a few years. Two fitted the Festival's Tchaikovsky theme. The Toronto Symphony brought a Stravinsky double-bill, simply staged in the Usher Hall, where The Soldier's Taleand Oedipus Rex came over well. A second theme of the Festival was the Scottish Enlightenment and the works of Walter Scott and James Macpherson ('Ossian'), for which the SNO and conductor Neeme Järvi assembled a fascinating evening that ended with a concert performance of Mehul's Ossian opera Uthal

Non-operatic events included notable performances by Simon Rattle and the CBSO of Dream of Gerontius and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony.

Performance Cast

Hermann a young officer

Anatoly Kapustin

Count Tomsky an officer

Alexandr Nyenadovsky

Tchekalinsky an officer

V A Naparin

Surin an officer

S A Safenin

Tchaplitsky a gambler

V N Lukyanov

Narumov a gambler

V I Yushmanov

Prince Yeletsky

Nikolai Kopilov


Irina Bogachova

Lisa the Countess's grand-daughter

Valentina Yusvenko (Aug 18)

Lyudmila Sirenko (Aug 23)

Pauline Lisa's companion

Nina Romanova

Governess to Lisa

M V Kuznetsova

Masha Lisa's maid

Svetlana Volkova

Master of Ceremonies

V P Korzhensky

Plutus Zlatagor in the masque

Vladimir Pankratov

Daphnis Milovzor in the masque

Olga Korzhenskaya

Chloe Prilepa in the masque

Yelena Ustinova (Aug 18)

T G Cherkasova (Aug 23)

Performance DatesQueen of Spades 1986

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

18 Aug, 19.30 23 Aug, 19.30

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