THE GAMBLERS. Opera in two acts after
Nikolai Gogol

Composer: Meyer, Krzysztof
Shostakovich, Dmitri
Lyricists: Schostakowitsch, Dmitri / Meyer, Krzysztof (op. 53)
Playing time: 136:00
Opus/Year: (1941-42), (1981/rev.2002)
Genre: Opera
Instrumentation: 6 Sgst, Orch. (30 St)
Premiere performance: 12.06.1983 / Wuppertal / D


Proud of his digital dexterity and his own specially prepared playing cards, the card-sharp Ikharev goes for three hotel guests in order to cheat them at cards. He soon recognises, that they belong to the same guild as he does and they decide, all four together, to cheat another hotel guest, the landowner Glov. The latter regrets having to depart soon but persuades his son Sascha, who must remain there, to wait for the payment of the large sum that Glov wanted to collect for the marriage of his daughter. Now Sascha is the victim. He loses the entire expected sum at cards, on which he issues a transfer and a corresponding authority. By bribing the financial officials, the quartet attempts to hasten the payment in the office, for the former trio is pressed for time; another, very urgent “item of business” requires their presence. They therefore entrust Ikharyev with the transfer and receive all his cash for this. Ikharyev believes that he has made a big profit. After the trio very suddenly departs, Sascha explains the true state of things to him: Glov and the financial officials are also swindlers and connected with the card-sharps. They had promised him money if he would carry out the swindle with Ikharyev. Thus two bruised individuals remain behind.