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Over 5 thousand people witnessed “The Queen of Spades” at the Elagin Island

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The third international festival “Opera for everyone” rounded up yesterday in St. Petersburg. All those who worship the art of opera witnessed the Russian classics at outdoor venues. The event was culminated by the “Queen of Spades”. Alexandra Lee with the details.

Alexandra Lee, reporter: “Residents of St. Petersburg prefer to spend their sunny weekend out of town, closer to nature. Those who have not hit the countryside these days are being offered to watch classic opera plays. And not inside a theater, but at outdoor venues. Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades” is being shown today at the Elagin island.

This rounds up the third annual festival “Opera for everyone”. A German conductor, who had graduated from St. Petersburg’s conservatory, was invited for a classical Russian play. Famous guests don’t come here for a paycheck – the event’s budget was cut in half from last year’s. But that doesn’t mean they perform worse than, let’s say, at La Scala.

Oliver Weder, conductor (Germany): “When I was offered to conduct this opera six months ago, I agreed with no hesitations. This is a very important play for me, especially considering that the event is being held in St. Petersburg”.

Pushkin’s snobbish and pedantic Herman was made expressive and lively by Tchaikovsky and director Elina Amromina. Old, but self-rejuvenating countess looks just the same to the viewer. With a grin of the Queen of Spades she ruins the main character’s hope. Organizers of the festival are also as if testing the actors’ skills before the eyes of a multiple crowd.

Elena Knapp, opera singer (Germany): “There is a chance to walk away, which is not always possible in a theatre. And I think it’s good too – if a man understands it’s not his thing, he just walks away”

Only a week was allocated for rehearsals. And singers had to perform complex arias on an open stage, which is deemed risky.

If one could not witness the beauty of decorations – not from the main floor and even not from a side of the stage – a live broadcast was available online. Which means that organizers have indeed fulfilled the main idea of the festival.

Alexandra Lee, reporter: “Rough estimates suggest that at least 5 thousand people have gathered here today to witness the classic masterpiece of world’s opera art – Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades”. What other theater can boast such spectator capacity? And it seems that expectations of these viewers have been fulfilled” 

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