Austria, 2007, 55 c. 14. multicoloured
Stanley Gibbons: 2895
Yvert et Tellier: 2519
The Austrian Post Office has already presented the Vienna State Opera House on several occasions, most recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reopening. The occasion for this stamp, which is to be continued as a series, is the increased interest in opera, specifically in the opening nights of the Vienna State Opera House. This leading institution of Austrian musical culture has attracted attention through the television broadcasts of its opening nights. The idea of experiencing the highlights of opera at home with top class singers has proven to be a great success and is to be continued in the years to come. The Post Office is issuing stamps to link up the opera first nights and hopes to delight music lovers and collectors around the world. This opens up a new aspect of collector enthusiasm.
The first issue is the opera Queen of Spades by the Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Seiji Ozawa will be conducting, and Anja Silja und Neil Shicoff will be leading the excellent cast of singers. The stage The opening night is at the State Opera House on 28 October 2007.
Tchaikovsky’s opera is based on the novel of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, the founder of modern Russian literature. The central theme of the story written in 1834 and named after a playing card, is gambling. The action takes place in St Petersburg. The social background is made up of aristocracy and officers of the Russian Empire at the end of the 18th century. In order to discover the secret of fortune at cards, the officer Herrmann exploits the trust of his beloved Lisa and literally walks over dead bodies. He threatens Lisa's grandmother, who used to be known in gambling circles as the Queen of Spades, with his pistol. She dies of fright. Lisa realises that she is only being exploited by Herrmann and in despair throws herself into the River Neva. Herrmann loses the decisive game against his rival, Prince Yeletsky, and stabs himself to death.
Plots: Pushkin Alexander