Thursday, November 29, 2012


Remember Pique Dame? Not likely if you live down here.

It was the late '70s when The Australian Opera got it together and ran it in Sydney and Melbourne and Adelaide. Bonynge conducted (I'm pretty sure) a production by Regina Resnik and designed by her husband Arbit Blatas with Ms Resnik sharing the role of the countess with Rosina Raisbeck (Resnik / Raisbeck!). I heard Resnik.

It was sadly underwhelming, not surprisingly looking back. The design was poorly regarded, Resnik made little impression, and despite the incredibly accomplished and versatile Marilyn Richardson singing Lisa, it was not one of the company's finest moments. I can't remember how it sounded, but I imagine if nothing else much of the beauty and detail of the orchestration stayed choked in the pit.

Well, luck can change (if not for Herman). Coming to the end of his tenure, Vladimir Ashkenazy has blessed us with two concert performances with the SSO where it will be all about what you hear. And heading who you will hear in this Queen of Spades is our very own home grown Prince of Tenors

and likewise formidable casting from locals and Russian visitors. If anyone knows how to cast this, it's Our Vlad with his orchestra on stage, and, and the Sydney Philharmonia Choir.

I'm excited. I've been warming up. It's a big sing. The '79 Bolshoi with Atlantov you can watch in full. 3 hours. If you are anything like me, beware starting unless you have the time. It's totally compelling, on every level. I heard Atlantov only once, in Vienna, where his stunning Pagliacci was so masculine, so angry, so penetrating, it was scary.

Here you go (embedding disabled).

And Obraztsova's rivetting reverie:


Anonymous said...

I remember what a big fuss was made of this. I can't remember which Regina/Rosina I saw. I can only really remember John Pringle singing "Three cards" and making a typical Pringlesque gesture (a bit of fist-shaking, I think, the song at the pianoforte and R/R's monologue (I bet it was Rosina for me! - not that, at that tender age, I would have minded either way all that much.)

Apparently there is a CD available.

Certainly I'm looking forward to it.

Susan Scheid said...

We enjoyed Glyndebourne's Pique Dame on DVD. Do you know it, and, if so, how would you say this one compares? (Note to self: one day I must find a way to videos without the necessity of having a laptop in my lap. I'm afraid that curbs my appetite for extended watching, and it's really a shame. I remember the clip you showed of Parsifal. It remains vivid in my mind.)

wanderer said...

No Susan, I'm afraid I don't know the G's PD. I'm very underexposed in the Tchaikovsky department. I'll keep your heads up in mind now I'm energised and on the lookout.

I put the laptop on a table, often in the kitchen, and stream away. Things get burnt.

David said...

Ah, our interconnected web - at the risk of crashing in with what is not intended to be self-importance, that was due to me, Sue, wasn't it? The bedchamber scene with the astounding Felicity Palmer and mad Yuri Marusin is the one I always show to students. Buy it, wanderer, buy it.

Now that you (Sue) have met him, I wonder if you can identify the diplo-mate in the Glyndebourne Chorus? He's quite prominent at times (the military man with the moustache)

wanderer said...

No crashing in around here, one in all in I say.

David, that brings us back to Grimes and the Met production where Felicity Palmer's Mrs Sedley completely stole the show.

Thanks to you both, the Glyndebourne PD is now on its way (with the Budapest Fischer Titan which had been stacked in the shopping cart) which I will give to me for his birthday. Soldier spotting a going.