Hans Neuenfels, the luminary of modern director's theatre, provides a compelling, multi-layered staging of Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame at Salzburg Festival. In the stark, mostly abstract sets by Christian Schmidt, Neuenfels "draws gripping performances from a strong cast" (The New York Times) including Brandon Jovanovich and Evgenia Muraveva in the title roles of Herman and Lisa and legendary singer Hanna Schwarz as Countess. Mariss Jansons, "a compelling director in his element" (The New York Times) makes his rare appearance as an opera conductor, at the helm of the Wiener Philharmoniker - "Another triumph in this hot festival summer!" (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). Mariss Jansons, "maybe the best connoisseur of this unjustly neglected opera" (Süddeutsche Zeitung), turns this Queen of Spades with as much verve as sensitivity into a "captivating musical drama" (Die Zeit).