Overview


Synopsis

King René’s daughter, Iolanta, has been blind since birth. Wanting to protect her, the King charges all his servants with keeping her blindness a secret while he tries to find a cure. They cannot talk about light, color, visions, or beauty in her presence or they will be sentenced to death. He engages the help of Ibn-Hakia, a moorish doctor, who promises to cure Iolanta’s blindness, but the remedy will only work if she wants to see. Not knowing what it is to see, Iolanta cannot desire it. A chance encounter with her betrothed, Robert and the young Count Vaudemont leads Iolanta to learn of her blindness. Vaudemont is completely in love with the young Princess, and quickly realizes she is blind when, twice, she passes him a white rose instead of the red one he asked for. He explains to her what it means to be able to see, and Iolanta returns to her father to ask for the cure, so that she might see Vaudemont and understand.

Tchaikovsky’s beautiful opera of love and enlightenment, set in this fairy-tale world of castles and princesses, is definitely one to bring a tear to the eye as faith and love triumph, and help Iolanta to realise her limitations and overcome the unknown.



Show Information

Category
Number of Acts
2 Acts
First Produced
1892
Settings
Period, Fantasy/Imaginary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Fairy tale, France, Provence, Medieval
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Large
Dancing
None
Licensor
None/royalty-free
Ideal For
Professional Opera
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes mature adult, young adult, elderly, adult characters

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