Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades, Pikovaya Dama)

This page lists all recordings of Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades, Pikovaya Dama), by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93) on CD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

The opera deals with the destructive and isolating nature of an addiction to gambling. The filming is sensitive to both the perfectly composed set and the impressive acting. The director captures the claustrophobic atmosphere in the madhouse and the trapped situation of the main characters – trapped in love like Lisa, in obsession like Herman or in the past like the “Pique Dame”.

Stage Director: Lev Dodin


Opéra National de Paris, 2005

“Quite mistakenly… Lev Dodin, the director of this version from Paris, has pulled the action as far back to the original story as he can manage. The price is the loss of most of the suspense, a lack of interesting characterisation, and boringly unchanging sets - it all takes place in a madhouse. Hermann relives the past... while gibbering around the stage throughout. Fortunately Vladimir Galouzine is a superb singer and actor, and makes everything he can of the role... His adversary, the Countess, is portrayed as a robust, not a crumbling figure, and Lisa becomes a cipher with some wonderful music to sing. Listen and you'll be impressed, watch and you'll be confused and irritated.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2007 ***

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

TDK - DVWW-OPPIQUE

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$34.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Misha Didyk (Hermann), Emily Magee (Lisa), Lado Ataneli (Count Tomsky), Ludovic Tézier (Prince Yeletsky), Elena Zaremba (Polina), Ewa Podles (Countess), Mikhaïl Vekua (Chaplitsky), Francisco Vas (Chekalinsky) & Claudia Schneider (Masha)

Symphony Orchestra and chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Michael Boder (conductor) & Gilbert Deflo (director)

Obsessive in gambling and in love, the soldier Hermann is the protagonist of Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, based on a story by Pushkin. He is smitten with the aristocratic Lisa and fixated on learning the winning secret of ‘the three cards’ from her grandmother, the Countess, played by iconic contralto Ewa Podles. This opulent production from Barcelona’s Liceu captures St Petersburg in the era of Catherine the Great, while the house’s Music Director Michael Boden conducts a large and impressive cast.

Extra features:

Cast Gallery

Running time 183 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES/CA

“[Didyk] cuts a fine figure on stage: tall, blond, physically agile, he sings the role of the poor lunatic gambler well. His voice is laser-like in focus and has the familiar Slavic edge...Ataneli's Tomsky is a fine interpretation, his bright voice standing up well...[Podles] is in full control of her considerable resources, the voice booming when it must and scaled back for her lovely ballad” International Record Review, September 2011

“Misha Didyk is both vocally strong and physically striking; his acting is suitably neurotic and ‘on the edge’...[Podles] just about steals every scene she’s in. The part is often sung by veteran mezzos somewhat past their prime, so it’s refreshing to hear it so well sung by a rich contralto and so well acted.” Opera Britannia, 30th October 2011 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Summer Opera Sale

Opus Arte - OA1050D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $34.25

Special: $27.40

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Misha Didyk (Hermann), Emily Magee (Lisa), Lado Ataneli (Count Tomsky), Ludovic Tézier (Prince Yeletsky), Elena Zaremba (Polina), Ewa Podles (Countess), Mikhaïl Vekua (Chaplitsky), Francisco Vas (Chekalinsky) & Claudia Schneider (Masha)

Symphony Orchestra and chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Michael Boder (conductor) & Gilbert Deflo (director)

Obsessive in gambling and in love, the soldier Hermann is the protagonist of Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, based on a story by Pushkin. He is smitten with the aristocratic Lisa and fixated on learning the winning secret of ‘the three cards’ from her grandmother, the Countess, played by iconic contralto Ewa Podles. This opulent production from Barcelona’s Liceu captures St Petersburg in the era of Catherine the Great, while the house’s Music Director Michael Boden conducts a large and impressive cast.

Extra features:

Cast Gallery

Running time 183 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 1080i High Definition

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES/CA

“[Didyk] cuts a fine figure on stage: tall, blond, physically agile, he sings the role of the poor lunatic gambler well. His voice is laser-like in focus and has the familiar Slavic edge...Ataneli's Tomsky is a fine interpretation, his bright voice standing up well...[Podles] is in full control of her considerable resources, the voice booming when it must and scaled back for her lovely ballad” International Record Review, September 2011

“Misha Didyk is both vocally strong and physically striking; his acting is suitably neurotic and ‘on the edge’...[Podles] just about steals every scene she’s in. The part is often sung by veteran mezzos somewhat past their prime, so it’s refreshing to hear it so well sung by a rich contralto and so well acted.” Opera Britannia, 30th October 2011 ****

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Summer Opera Sale

Opus Arte - OABD7085D

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $34.25

Special: $27.40

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Julia Varady (Lisa), Elena Obraztsova (Countess), Vladimir Atlantov (Hermann), Alexander Voroshilo (Tomsky), Bodo Brinkmann (Yeletsky), Ludmila Shemchuk (Pauline), Yoshihisa Yamaji (Chekalinsky), Karl Helm (Surin), Ulrich Reß (Chaplitsky), Alfred Kuhn (Narumov), Friedrich Lenz (Master of Ceremonies), Gudrun Wewezow (Governess) & Carmen Anhorn (Masha)

Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper & Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Algis Shuraitis

In contrast to Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky’s other operas have led something of a shadowy existence in the repertoire. Only his penultimate music drama The Queen of Spades (also after Alexander Pushkin) can claim to look back on a continuous performing tradition in recent decades. In 1984 the Bavarian State Opera gave a production that was musically exemplary in many ways, starting with the role of Lisa, sung by Julia Varady. She had already been celebrated in Munich for her portrayal of Tatyana in Onegin, and here again she showed herself to be the ideal interpreter for one of Tchaikovsky’s female roles. She savoured the lyrical aspects of the part with the utmost subtlety, while in the tragic plot twist on the banks of the Neva she showed herself a match for its dramatic climaxes. Her vocal portrait of the self-sacrificing young lover Lisa can at last be heard here on CD. Her partner Vladimir Atlantov had to master one of the most murderous tenor roles and did so brilliantly. During the course of his international career, it was above all with Tchaikovsky’s Hermann and with Verdi’s Otello that he truly succeeded in making his mark in a manner that has been remembered long after. There has rarely been another singer able to portray in so gripping a fashion the increasing intensity of Hermann’s passion for Lisa, up to the point of his deadly obsession to win her by means of the “secret of the three cards”. The old Countess is sung by the mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, like him another of the great voices from the former Soviet Union. They were joined by several further compatriots: Polina was sung luxuriantly by Ludmila Shemchuk, Count Tomsky by Alexander Voroshilo, and last but not least Algis Shuraitis was at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera to ensure that their joint efforts were crowned by the creation of an idiomatic cast for this production of The Queen of Spades. The ensemble, chorus and orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera contributed above and beyond the call of duty to the success of it all, playing and singing with fire and verve, and they well deserve an honourable mention here.

“[Varady is] in radiant voice here, convincingly youthful and appealing at her first encounter with Herman, throwing caution to the wind as she goes to her death in the Neva. Vladimir Atlantov's Herman is a known quantity but it is good to hear again how fearless he could be onstage...there is a grandiloquence about his portrayal here that can be thrilling.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011

“Varady retains her appeal, thanks to splendidly clear textual projection, prbing musicality and a delectably youthful timbre...The truly aching expressiveness of this singing is just right for Lisa, and significantly more affecting than anyone I've heard on disc in this role...[Obraztsova holds] the listener's attention through sheer incisiveness of projection...the performance is immensely disciplined and never frantic.” International Record Review, July 2011

Historical Recordings - up to 25% off

Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or - Bayerische Staatsoper live - C811112i

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $21.75

Special: $17.40

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

The opera was Tchaikovsky's, The Queen Of Spades, (Pique Dame). With a libretto written by the composer's brother, Modest, this tale of terror, with a plot involving obsessive love and gambling, hallucinations and descent into madness never fails to have a profound effect on its audience. The Bolshoi's production is riveting, with sumptuous sets and costumes, and the famed Bolshoi chorus and corps de ballet are at their most elegant and spectacular.


Bolshoi Opera

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

FGL Productions - VIA080154

(DVD Video)

$12.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Gegam Grigorian (Hermann), Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky), Ludmila Filatova (Countess), Maria Gulegina (Lisa), Olga Borodina (Pauline), Alexander Gergalov (Yeletsky)

Kirov Opera Orchestra & Chorus, Valery Gergiev

“This production from St Petersburg, and contemporaneous with the Glyndebourne production reviewed above, is a much more conventional but equally valid approach. The staging is always apt, and in terms of cast, the Kirov holds the edge over its rival. The young Guleghina is the intense, vibrant Lisa to the life. The video direction is exemplary, though the sound leaves something to be desired.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“It is handsome to look at and very well staged, a joy to watch as well as listen to...it is a straightforward and clean-cut presentation, deftly using massive choruses to match the opulent scenery, and nearly all the cast is first-rate.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Philips - 0704349

(DVD Video)

$17.75

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Yuri Marusin (Hermann), Nancy Gustafson (Lisa), Felicity Palmer (Countess), Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky), Dimitri Kharitonov (Yeletsky), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Pauline), Enid Hartle (Governess)

Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Davis, stage direction by Graham Vick

Recording Date: 1992
Place of recording: Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Running Time: 170 min
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Menu Languages PAL: D, GB, F, SP
Subtitle Languages PAL: D, GB, F, SP

“Graham Vick's 1992 staging is worthy of this extraordinary score. He reflects exactly the highly charged emotions and sense of brooding menace pervading the composer's re-enactment of Pushkin's story, thus creating a compelling psychodrama that compels both eye and ear. Davis catches most, if not all, of the score's romantic sweep and inner, dislocating turbulence, although the impassioned undercurrents are better achieved in the Kirov video, conducted by Gergiev (below). Yuri Marusin is the crazed Herman incarnate. Whether or not you can accept his often off-pitch singing is a personal matter. As his Lisa, Nancy Gustafson, offers a portrayal of an impressionable girl driven to distraction and suicide by the unhinged behaviour of her lover. She sings the part in warm, passionate tones.
Peter Maniura's video direction catches every facial expression of both characters and of Felicity Palmer's electrifying Countess. Sergei Leiferkus is elegant and commanding as the free-loving Tomsky. Dimitri Kharitonov is the soul of rectitude as Yeletsky and brings a bronzed tone to his lovely aria. Marie-Ange Todorovitch is an attractively palpitating Pauline.
Picture and sound are exemplary.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“[Yuri Marusin] is the part from beginning to end...Felicity Palmer's Countess is particularly fine. Andrew Davis holds all the threads together magnificently and gets an impressive response from his singers and the LPO.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition **/***

DVD Video

Region: 2,5

Format: PAL

Summer Opera Sale

Arthaus Musik - 100272

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.50

Special: $22.80

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Orchestre des Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Jacques Lacombe

Analekta - AN28816

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Live-Recording, Munich, Philharmonie, October 2014


Misha Didyk (Herman), Tatiana Serjan (Lisa), Larissa Diadkova (Countess), Alexey Shishlyaev (Tomskij and Plutus), Alexey Markov (Yeletzki)

Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper & Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

In its history as a concert orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has also devoted itself on numerous occasions to opera, under such eminent conductors as Rafael Kubelik and Leonard Bernstein. Chief conductor Mariss Jansons also maintains the tradition, for example with concert performances of Russian operas such as "Eugene Onegin". BR-KLASSIK now presents the 2014 live recording in Munich's Philharmonie im Gasteig of the semi-staged performance of Tchaikovsky's late masterpiece "The Queen of Spades". With great connoisseurship, Mariss Jansons has brought together a group of singers for this performance in original Russian who are all native speakers of the language, and very familiar with the work. They include Misha Didyk as Hermann, Tatiana Serjan as Lisa, and Alexey Markov as Prince Yeletsky.

Booklet: in German & English

Libretto: in German, Russian & English

“Didyk’s voice is not intrinsically beautiful, but its throaty, bottled-up sound suits this dark, brooding role well...His encounter with Diadkova’s Countess in her boudoir...chills the blood. Tatiana Serjan has a big, vibrant soprano and offers a Lisa in the grand Russian style. The supporting parts, including Alexey Shishlyaev’s bluff Tomsky, are all brilliantly taken, but this is Jansons’s set: his conducting is edge-of-the-seat stuff.” Sunday Times, 13th September 2015

“Hearing as refined and lustrous an orchestra as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score is a treat in itself...[Didyk's] confrontation with Larissa Diadkova’s terrific Countess (beautifully paced and detailed by Jansons), is impressive and never topples over into hysteria.” The Guardian, 10th September 2015 ****

“Serjan is a vibrant, fearless Lisa...Hers is a voice with plenty of ‘blade’ when required, yet she can shade it beautifully...[Didyk] surprises with his baritonal depths here as Herman, as well as a ringing top...Diadkova’s Countess happily relies more on secure vocal technique than scary histrionics and Oksana Volkova is a rich-voiced Polina.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Christmas Choice

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016

Opera Finalist

Summer Opera Sale

BR Klassik - 900129

(CD - 3 discs)

Normally: $30.00

Special: $24.00

(also available to download from $30.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame


Vladimir Atlantov (Hermann), Maureen Forrester (Countess), Mirella Freni (Lisa), Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Yeletsky), Katherine Ciesinski (Polina), Ernesto Gavazzi (Chekalinsky), Julian Rodescu (Surin), Dennis Petersen (Chaplitsky), Richard Clement (Major-domo), Jorge Chamine (Narumov), Janis Taylor (Governess)

Tanglewood Festival Chorus & Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa

Release includes a booklet with a three language synopsis [English / French / German], full cast list and detailed track list.

Recorded in 1991

RCA - The Sony Opera House - 88697527712

(CD - 3 discs)

$15.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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