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Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Iolanta

opera in two acts

Age 6+

Dates

Libretto: Modest Tchaikovsky based on the play King René’s Daughter  by Henrik Hertz
Musical director: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Andrei Galanov
Director: Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Belarus, Professor Margarita Izvorska-Elizarieva
Designer: laureate of State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Ernst Heidebrecht
Chorus master: People’s Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Nina Lomanovich
Stage director: Honoured Artist of the Republic of Belarus Oleg Melnikov
Conductors: Aleh Lessoun, People’s Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Anissimov
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes with one interval
Sung in Russian with Russian and English surtitles
Premiere of the new stage version 5 February 2004

6

In a magnificent garden together with her girlfriends and servants lives the daughter of the king of Provence beautiful blind Iolanta. Despite love and attention of girlfriends and citizens, she feels that something is missing in her life.
The king has strictly ordered to not mention neither about paints, nor about light in her presence... Iolanta does not know that she is blind and that on the earth there are people able to see.
Even in childhood, she was betrothed to the duke of Burgundy, Robert, who also knows nothing about the tragedy of his bride.
Iolanta sleeping ...
King called for a daughter the famous Moorish doctor Ibn-Hakia. Perhaps he will find the way to cure his unhappy daughter. The doctor said to Iolanta that the vision may return only if she will know about her blindness, and will passionately wish to get back what destiny took from her.
So, that Iolanta has begun to see, it is necessary, that somebody has revealed to the girl a terrible secret. But who undertakes to make it? Not father.
Robert Duke of Burgundy and the knight Vaudemont lost while hunting, and, despite the fact that the royal garden is strictly guarded, they get into it. The case leads Vaudemont to the place where Iolanta fell asleep. Awoke, Iolanta asks strangers who they are and where yhey are from, what they respond very uncertain. Robert goes to look his confidants lost in the woods. Vaudemont, left with Iolanta, admiringly tells her about her beauty and awakened in him a sense of love for her. He asks the girl to give him a rose. Iolanta breakes white flower. "I asked to break the red ..." Iolanta gives him a white one again. "What does it mean " red "?" – She asked in confusion. Vaudemont realize that she is blind. Knowing nothing about the royal prohibition, he tells her about the colors of nature, the radiance of the day, and, not wanting to hurt her, opens Iolanta that she is blind. Iolanta is shocked, she desperately wishes to see, as well as Vaudemont can see and all the other sighted lucky people.
The king finds the knight next to lolanta. A terrible wrath seizes his mind, and he intends to punish the uninvited guest. But Iolanta begs her father to spare Vaudemont’s life. Meanwhile she is ready for any test, just to gain vision.
Appears Duke Robert, and learned that Iolanta is his fiancée, with whom he is betrothed as a child, begs the king to return the word given him once, because he loves another girl and he doesn’t want his marriage to lolanta make them both miserable.
The prediction of Ebn-Hakia is carried out. The girl, feeling her weakness so passionately aspires to recover, that after a successful operation really gets vision. Now nothing prevents the king to make everyone happy. The duke is released from his word, and Vaudemont embraces his betrothed Iolanta, in front of her eyes the world shines in all its beauty.

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