Kirill Petrenko (photo: Frederike van der Straeten)

Kirill Petrenko conducts Tchaikovsky's “Queen of Spades”

No opera demonstrates more vividly than Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades the fact that people’s desires are often their undoing. The outsider Herman wants nothing more than to succeed at card-playing but loses everything in the end. Lisa searches for her great love, is bitterly disappointed and takes her life. There is also a mysterious Countess with magical secrets. It is a dark world, which Tchaikovsky reveals in passionate, dramatic music. After staged productions at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, Kirill Petrenko conducts the work in a concert performance at the Philharmonie Berlin.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Kirill Petrenko conductor

Arsen Soghomonyan tenor (Hermann)

Vladislav Sulimsky baritone (CountTomski)

Boris Pinkhasovich baritone (Prince Yeletsky)

Doris Soffel contralto (Countess)

Elena Stikhina soprano (Lisa) , replacing Elena Bezgodkova

Aigul Akhmetshina mezzo-soprano (Polina)

Christophe Poncet de Solages tenor (Tschaplitzki)

Margarita Nekrasova alto (Governess)

Anatoli Sivko baritoe (Surin)

Jevgenij Akimov tenor (Tschekalinski)

Mark Kurmanbayev basso (Narumow)

Manuel Habermann Speaker (A Boy)

Slovak Philharmonic Choir

Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe childrens' and youth choir

Udo Metzner Inspizienz

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Queen of Spades, op. 68

Dates and Tickets

Biographies

Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since the 2019/20 season. He studied first in Russia, then in Austria. He came to the attention of the international music world in 2001, when he conducted Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen at the Meininger Theater over four consecutive days for the first time, in a production by Christine Mielitz and designs by Alfred Hrdlicka. Twelve years later, he then conducted the cycle for a second time at the Bayreuth Festival. At the same time, Kirill Petrenko took up his post as general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper, his third position as head of an opera house after Meiningen and the Komische Oper Berlin. He was also making guest appearances at the world’s major opera houses (from Wiener Staatsoper to London’s Covent Garden and the Opéra National in Paris to the Metropolitan Opera in New York) as well as with the major international symphony orchestras – in Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Chicago, Cleveland and Israel. He made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2006. Kirill Petrenko can also be heard with the Berliner Philharmoniker outside Berlin – on tour and, of course, in the Digital Concert Hall. Selected performances have also been recorded, most recently in an edition of symphonic works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Franz Schmidt and Rudi Stephan.

Arsen Soghomonyan

Arsen Soghomonyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, and studied singing in his home town, among other places. He won singing competitions in Warsaw and Moscow as well as first prize at the International Pavel Lisitsian Competition in Vladikavkaz. In 2006, he was awarded the Armenian State Prize. After first appearances at Armenian National Opera, he initially appeared as a baritone and sang roles such as Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Prince Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades) and Napoleon (War and Peace) at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow. In 2017, he made his debut there as a tenor in the role of Cavaradossi (Tosca). He subsequently made several guest appearances at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and debuted at many major European opera houses, including as Canio (Pagliacci) and Cavaradossi at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Roberto (Puccini’s Le Villi) and Radu (Leoncavallo’s Zingari) with Opera Rara, and the title role in Verdi’s Otello at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. With the latter role, he made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2019 under Zubin Mehta, both in staged performances at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and in concert at the Philharmonie Berlin.

Elena Stikhina

Elena Stikhina began her career after vocal studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with an engagement at the New Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vladivostok, where she appeared in roles such as Violetta Valéry (La traviata), Micaëla (Carmen), Nedda (Pagliacci) and the title role in Tosca. There, she also sang Lisa in The Queen of Spades. As a scholarship holder at the International Opera Workshop in Switzerland, she studied the title role in Aida with director Peter Konwitschny. In 2016, she won the Audience Award and the “CulturArte” Prize in the Operalia Competition founded by Plácido Domingo – the launch of her international career. In the 2017/18 season, Elena Stikhina sang Leonora in Il trovatore at Deutsche Oper Berlin and was acclaimed as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at the Opéra national de Paris. In the same season she made guest appearances at Bayerische Staatsoper (Senta), at the Staatsoper Berlin (Mimì in La Bohème), at the Semperoper Dresden (Leonora in La forza del destino), with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and at the Philharmonie Paris. Since then, she has made debuts at Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London, at the Metropolitan Opera New York and at the Salzburg Festival, among others. At St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre she has sung many major Wagner, Strauss and Verdi roles, and at La Scala in Milan in 2021 she sang the title role in a new production of Salome.

Vladislav Sulimsky

Baritone Vladislav Sulimsky is one of the leading singers in his field, performing all over the world in the Russian repertoire as well as in numerous Verdi roles. After winning the Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition in St. Petersburg in 2002, he became a member of the ensemble at the city’s Mariinsky Theatre, where he has since returned frequently as a guest, singing the title roles in Eugene Onegin, Simon Boccanegra, Macbeth, Rigoletto and Gianni Schicchi, as well as Marquis of Posa in Don Carlo, among others. His repertoire also includes Count Tomski (The Queen of Spades), Alberich (Das Rheingold), Lord Enrico Ashton (Lucia di Lammermoor), Il Conte di Luna (Il trovatore), Renato (Un ballo in maschera) and Iago (Otello). Engagements have also taken him to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Theater an der Wien, Theater Basel, the Royal Opera House Stockholm and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, as well as to the Edinburgh International Festival and the Salzburg Festival, where he made his debut in 2018 in a new production of The Queen of Spades conducted by Mariss Jansons. In November 2021, he made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Kirill Petrenko in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa.

Boris Pinkhasovich

Boris Pinkhasovich graduated as a choral conductor and opera singer from the conservatory in his home town of St. Petersburg. In 2011 he became a member of the ensemble at the city’s Mikhailovsky Theatre. His debut as Marcello (La Bohème) was followed by roles such as Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Lescaut (Manon Lescaut), Silvio (Pagliacci), Prince Jeletzki and Tomski (The Quenn of Spades) and Robert (Iolanta). He has been an ensemble member of Wiener Staatsoper since 2020. His repertoire also includes roles such as Andrey Shchelkalov (Boris Godunov), Ford (Falstaff), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Thésée in Enescu's Oedipe and the title role in Eugene Onegin. Guest engagements have taken him to many international houses, including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London, the Opéra de Paris, the Opéra Monte-Carlo, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Finnish National Opera, as well as the Salzburg Festival.

Doris Soffel

Doris Soffel studied violin and singing in Munich. After beginnings in the ensemble of Staatsoper Stuttgart in roles such as Carmen, Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), her international career began with Sesto (La clemenza di Tito) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London. Since then she has appeared at major opera houses around the world, including as Fricka (Der Ring des Nibelungen) at the Bayreuth Festival and Clytemnestra (Elektra) at the Salzburg Festival. Her repertoire includes over a hundred roles, including Amneris (Aida), Charlotte (Werther), Kundry (Parsifal), Amme (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Herodias (Salome) and Ortrud (Lohengrin). She has also sung leading roles in world premieres of works by contemporary composers such as Aribert Reimann and Krzysztof Penderecki and has become known worldwide as a singer of Mahler. Doris Soffel has performed with many distinguished conductors, including Sergiu Celibidache, Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Herbert von Karajan, Christian Thielemann, Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim. She was appointed Kammersängerin in 2007, and nominated for the Faust Prize in 2017 for her portrayal of Clytemnestra. She made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1979 in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius.

Kirill Petrenko (photo: Frederike van der Straeten)

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