On December 5, 2019, the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre will welcome the dancers from the St. Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre, who will present a premiere of The Queen of Spades, based on an eponymous short story by A.S. Pushkin, set to music by P.I.Tchaikovsky, choreographed talented Iñaki Urlezaga (Argentina).
The St. Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre is happy to present one of its latest premières at the Alexandrinsky Theatre. The Queen of Spades ballet is a neoclassical production set to music by P.I. Tchaikovsky and staged by the renowned danseur and choreographer Iñaki Urlezaga (Argentina), who was inspired by a story by A.S. Pushkin. The show was created by an-all star team, including the world-famous set designer Ezio Frigerio (Italy) in collaboration with Riccardo Massironi, the Oscar-awarded costume designer Franca Squarciapino (Italy), and the lighting designer Vinichio Cheli (Italy). The new ballet show, inspired by a story that has become Russian literature's cult classic, paid homage to the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin on his 220th birth anniversary.
The Queen of Spades is steeped in the spirit of St. Petersburg. In a perfect stroke of serendipity, all the elements of this ballet fit together flawlessly, be it the libretto, the music, the drama, or even the set, which, just like much of St. Petersburg back in Pushkin's day, is the creation of Italian masters. This is what has ensured the production's tremendous success, piquing the interest of theatre-goers both in St. Petersburg, the greater Russia, and beyond.
'Obviously, all of this action takes place in the realm of the Imperial St. Petersburg, complete with regally wrought gateways, the Bronze Horseman, the opulent traditional interiors with glazed tile stoves, and the must-have silhouette of onion-shaped church domes in the finale. In the real world, this city was built by Italians, and it was a team of Italians that built it on-stage as well, using enormous black marble columns as symbols of tragic dignity'.
'Liza starred in several scenes, including a solo in the grand finale, where she got a chance to be both a dying swan and an insanity-stricken Giselle, and where — most importantly — Urlezaga's outlook on the story that is so dear to him really came into focus. Here, classical pointe tiptoeing and a sprinkle of the Russian ballet femininity suddenly explode into passion... Hermann's role also has the same spirit'.
Leila GUCHMAZOVA for Kommersant, December 9, 2019
'The costumes (and there are over 150 of them) combine historical accuracy with theatre conventions. The set design is a fine example of how to create something both diverse and succinct. The gigantic black pillars, so tall that they reach the fly gallery, are present in every scene, but their position changes, thus transforming the on-stage space'.
Varvara SVINTSOVA for Izvestiya, November 12, 2019.
'Set designer Ezio Frigerio has provided the show with a masterpiece of a set. Majestic pillars of black marble outline the boundaries for the stage, and there are hints of a mirror-smooth river flickering through intricate cast-iron grating. The dainty interiors in the private chambers of Lizaveta and the Countess reveal a good grasp of the period's style. The production's costume designer, Franca Squarciapino, has dressed every character in accordance with their status and personality; the colour scheme is strikingly nuanced'.
Igor STUPNIKOV for St. Petersburg Vedomosti, December 10, 2019.
Ballet in 3 acts, based on a story by A.S. Pushkin
Libretto by Iñaki Urlezaga, based on M.I. Tchaikovsky's libretto for P.I. Tchaikovsky's music drama The Queen of Spades.
Choreography by Iñaki Urlezaga
The show premièred on December 5, 2019
Running time 2 hours 10 minutes
Presented with two intervals