A new production of Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades (Pique Dame), directed by Poland’s world-class Mariusz Trelinski, opens June 26 at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. Based on Alexander Pushkin’s (1799-1837) story, Queen of Spades is adark tale of obsession, greed and death. Compulsive gambler Herman(tenors Victor Lutsiuk, Krzysztof Bendarek) seeks to wrest from the oldcountess (sopranos Anja Silja, Galina Malinski) her secret of threewinning cards. The countess’s ward, Lisa (sopranos Ira Bertman, NataliaUshakova), is to marry Prince Yeletsky (baritones Vladimir Petrov,Eugene Brancoveanu), who loves her tenderly. But Lisa has anirresistible passion for Herman, and when she realizes that Hermanloves the cards more than her, she commits suicide. Canadian-born Keri Lynn Wilson is the conductor of the Israeli Operaorchestra, and has previously worked with Trelinski, who did thewell-received Madame Butterfly at the IO in ’08. Of Wilson, Trelinskisays, “She understands the drama inherent in the opera and knows how toblend its dramatic and musical demands.” Wilson, who conducted the IO’sLa Boheme last season, says she admires Trelinski, “an enthrallingdirector with enormous respect for the music.”Queen of Spades, Tchaikovsky’s most famous opera, had its premiere in1890 and was performed at the IO in 1999. Performances run through July7.