The Queen of Spades

February 15. 2020 - March 01. 2020

Upcoming Dates

February 15. 2020 - March 01. 2020

New-to-Chicago Production The Queen of Spades


Tchaikovsky’s broodingly romantic thriller is a tour de force for a great tenor. He plays the terrifyingly obsessed Gherman, an unhappy soldier desperate to know a secret hidden by a mysterious old countess—the mystery of winning at cards. The tension turns truly unnerving as Gherman’s obsession begins to overwhelm him. It leads to devastation both for him and for the countess’s granddaughter, Lisa, whom Gherman loves. Tchaikovsky’s music is the height of Russian romanticism in its melancholy soulfulness, its white-hot passion, and the sweeping grandeur of its orchestra—a masterpiece from the genius who gave the world Eugene Onegin and Swan Lake.

  • Language: Sung in Russian with projected English translations
  • Running Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes with 2 intermissions

The Queen of Spades

By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Performed by Mirella Freni, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Maureen Forrester, Katherine Ciesinski, et al.
Courtesy of Sony Masterworks


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"Pique dame"

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Queen of Spades

By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

© 2019/20 Lyric Opera Commentaries. All rights reserved.
Music courtesy of Sony Masterworks. By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment.
A project of the Women’s Board.


Program Book

Go inside this production of The Queen of Spades with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.


Meet The artists

* Lyric debut
** Ryan Opera Center alumna

Lyric presentation of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades generously made possible by

Margot and Josef Lakonishok

Mrs. Herbert A. Vance & Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance

Production originated at Welsh National Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Den Norske Opera, and Canadian Opera Company.

Photos: Felix Sanchez/Houston Grand Opera, Cory Weaver