The Royal Opera House curtains open onto the town of Roulettenburg where the whole of life is based around the casino.
In the middle of this money-driven world is the possibility of a love story, but is Alexey really in love with Polina, or addicted to her in the same way as he is to his gambling? Prokofiev's rarely heard score is based on Dostoyevsky's novel, and contains some of his most unusual and energetic music.
The cast of colourful characters include Roberto Saccà and Angela Denoke as the lovers, and John Tomlinson as the General whose life disintegrates as his aged aunt gambles away his inheritance.
Andrew Mcgregor is joined by Prokofiev biographer David Nice, with interviews from the cast, conductor, and director.
Presented by Andrew Mcgregor with guest David Nice
Alexey - Roberto Saccà (tenor)
Polina - Angela Denoke (soprano)
General - John Tomlinson (bass)
Blanche - Jurgita Adamonyte (mezzo-soprano)
Marquis - Kurt Streit (tenor)
Mr Astley - Mark Stone (baritone)
Babulenka - Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano)
Prince Nilsky - John Easterlin (tenor)
Potapytch - Dawid Kimberg (baritone)
Baron - Jeremy White (bass)
Gaudy Lady - Simona Mihai (soprano)
Pale Lady - Elisabeth Meister (soprano)
Dubious Old Lady - Elizabeth Sikora (mezzo-soprano)
Lady Comme Ci, Comme Ça - Carol Rowlands (soprano)
Venerable Lady - Kai Rüütel (mezzo-soprano)
Rash Gambler - Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (tenor)
Hypochondriac Gambler - Steven Ebel (tenor)
Hunchback Gambler - Alasdair Elliott (tenor)
Aged Gambler - John Cunningham (bass-baritone)
Fat Englishman - David Woloszko (bass-baritone)
Tall Englishman - Lukas Jakobski (bass)
Casino Director - Graeme Danby (bass)
First Croupier - Hubert Francis (tenor)
Second Croupier - Robert Anthony Gardiner (tenor)
Antonio Pappano - Conductor
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Antonio Pappano conducts Prokofiev's rarely-heard opera, based on Dostoyevsky's novel.