The Buzz: Swedish soprano Katarina Dalayman, another Rosenberg discovery, has been making headlines around the world for what the Sunday Times (London) calls her "thrilling attack and arresting brilliance of tone."
The Spark: Inspired by another Pushkin work, Tchaikovsky composed The Queen of Spades, 12 years after Eugene Onegin, drawing on his own identification with complex and tormented characters to craft an opera packed with action and ambiance.
The Story: Gherman wishes to win the love of Lisa but is even more intent on getting rich by extracting the secret of the three playing cards from her grandmother, the Countess. The Countess dies without revealing the secret, but Gherman sees a vision of the cards in his dreams. As his obsession grows, it overwhelms his love and causes him to risk everything on one final, fateful hand of cards.