Dutch National Opera presents

THE QUEEN OF SPADES Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

This show was to been seen in June 2016


Duration 3:15

By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Language Russian

Surtitles English & Dutch


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Opera in three acts (seven scenes)
Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky
World premiere 19 December 1890, Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg


Nieuwe production
Premiere 7 May 2016
Co-production with Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

The second Russian opera in the anniversary season, and one of the highlights of the Holland Festival, is Tchaikovsky's Pique dame. The compelling opera was composed in a period of turmoil for Tchaikovsky about himself and his homosexuality. His hidden desires come to the fore in the stirring music.

In short

Director Stefan Herheim gives an exciting visualisation of how Tchaikovsky’s unspeakable homosexuality and passion rises through the music to the surface of the story of gambling and love. The life he has acted and forfeited is played out against the drama.

The story in a nutshell
The protagonist Hermann stakes everything on gambling, in the belief that he knows a secret formula that will prevent him from losing at cards. This is not the case, however, and Herman commits suicide. He thus becomes the third victim of his own compulsive gambling behaviour – after the old Countess, who was supposed to know the secret, and Lisa, who was in love with him.

This poignant opera classic, which has been an audience favourite ever since its world premiere, is one of the highlights of the Holland Festival!

Who are working on wigs of Pique dame? What comes into play? You'll find out in this video.
Watch the trailer of Pique dame here.


The Queen of Spades, the second Russian opera in Dutch National Opera’s anniversary season, is a new production. In his productions, director Stefan Herheim always puts the opera in a more contemporary setting, linking the past to the present, or in this case to another reality: that of Tchaikovsky. This approach maximises the relevance of the work. Herheim has previously guested with DNO for the opera Eugene Onegin.

Stefan Herheim


STEFAN HERHEIM has a musical background, as he studied cello in Oslo and toured Norway with his Puppet Opera Company. Herheim is one of today’s most sought-after and celebrated opera directors, with a repertoire stretching from the Baroque to contemporary works.

Mariss Jansons

Musical director

MARISS JANSONS, who was born in Latvia, studied violin and conducting in Leningrad, after which he went on to study in Vienna and Salzburg with Hans Swarovsky and Herbert von Karajan.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Mariss Jansons
Stage Director 
Stefan Herheim
Set & Costume Designer 
Philipp Fürhofer
Lighting Designer 
Bernd Purkrabek
Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Dutch National Opera Chorus
Chortus Master 
Ching-Lien Wu
Children's chorus 
Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
led by Caro Kindt
Misha Didyk
Graaf Tomski/Plutus 
Alexey Markov
Vorst Jeletski 
Vladimir Stoyanov
Andrei Popov
Andrii Goniukov
Mikhail Makarov
Anatoli Sivko
Larissa Diadkova
Svetlana Aksenova
Anna Goryachova
Olga Savova
Maria Fiselier
Pelageya Kurennaya
master of ceremonies 
Morschi Franz
Christiaan Kuyvenhoven


Main roles
Misha Didyk is making his debut with Dutch National Opera as Hermann. In the role of Lisa, Svetlana Ignatovich is making her return, following her great success as Fevronia in The legend of the invisible city of Kitezh.


The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is led by its former principal conductor Mariss Jansons. This combination previously made a great impression with Lady Macbeth by Mtsensk and Eugene Onegin, and will now close the series of three great Russian masterpieces with Pikovaja dama.

Nearly every year since 1988, Mariss Jansons has conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, where he was principal conductor from the 2003-2004 season to the 2014-2015 season. He has also conducted the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker, the London Philharmonic and big orchestras in the United States.



On Sunday 12 June and 3 July, after the performance of Pique dame, the soloist Misha Didyk (Hermann) will be at the shop to sign your purchases.

This signing session is only for people with tickets for the matinee performance!

Coproduction with: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London