The new Queen of Spades is one of the theate's major productions of recent years. Set designer Igor Ivanov, a renowned St.Petersburg artist whose works are displayed at British art galleries, turned the Ekaterinburg stage into something like Hermitage halls of breath-taking beauty. And yet this space is phantasmagorically expressive. It 'plays' characters like waves play slivers, now raising the heroes high and then suppressing them. Vladimir Cheberyak who demonstrates a brilliant voice as well as outstanding acting abilities and the deepest submergence in the image, is great at conveying the tragedy of Hermann's dual personality. His sweetheart Liza is sung by Elena Dementieva and Natalia Karlova, whose gorgeous voices sound sincerely passionate in dramatic moments. Tatyana Nikanorova and Alexandra Kulikova appear as phantasmagoric Countess... An adornment of the production is the small but difficult part of Polina expertly performed by Nadezda Shlyapnikova and Nadezda Babintseva.
Yaroslav Sedov, Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Alexey Stepayuk, Honoured Art Worker of Russia, is an interesting name a propos The Queen of Spades. He has staged Tchaikovsky's opera several times not only in Russia but worldwide, in Kazan, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, on the stage of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall – with the Mariinsky soloists, and in San-Fransisco. As the director says, in this musical story he is ready to seek and find lots and lots of meaning. 'The Queen of Spades is my obsession,' confesses Alexey Stepanyuk. 'Tchaikovsky combines death and assertion of life in an incredible way. This is a heart able to love and to suffer that much...'