Tchaikovsky’s opera, with a libretto by his brother Modest, is a ghost story based on Pushkin’s novella of the same name. The opera is set Saint Peterburg where young army officer named Hermann is in love with Lisa, grand-daughter of a Countess but who is already engaged to Prince Yeletsky. The Countess was a noted gambler in her youth, and has a three-card secret which will always guarantee a win. Brandishing a pistol, Hermann visits the Countess at night to learn how to win enough money to marry his betrothed, but the Countess dies of fright. Lisa drowns herself in despair, Hermann goes mad at the gaming table and, confronted by the Countess’s ghost, kills himself.
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