Opera in 2 acts
Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky based on “King Rene’s Daughter” by Henrik Hertz
Myron Yusypovyсh Honored Artist of Ukraine
Halyna Volovetska Honored Art Worker of Ukraine
Tadey Ryndzak People's Artist of Ukraine
Oksana Zinchenko Honored Artist of Ukraine
Vasyl Koval Winner of Ukrainian competition
Beautiful Iolanta, the daughter of King Rene, is blind from birth. The King fears that the truth would hurt his child, and forbids servants to tell Iolanta about the light and beauty of the colors. The girl lives in a magnificent castle, surrounded by lush gardens and fragrant flowers, in the care of faithful friends. However Iolanta feels sad because of her vague sense that she is missing something important that other people can experience. To cheer Iolanta up, her friends sing her favorite song, and the girl falls asleep.
The hunting horn is heard, that announces the arrival of King Rene and Ibn-Hakia, a famous Moorish physician. King Rene still hopes for the recovery of his daughter and withholds the fact that she is blind from her and her betrothed, Duke Robert. The Moor examines the sleeping Iolanta and states that she can be cured, but the physical cure will only work if she is aware of her blindness and desires to see. But Rene does not dare to tell the truth to his daughter, fearing that it will give her great pain.
Two knights, Iolanta’s fiancé Duke Robert and his friend Count Vaudémont get lost and come to the royal garden. Robert loves another girl, Matilde, and comes to ask King Rene to cancel the engagement. Suddenly, friends notice the sign which threatens death to anyone who enters the garden. Leaving the garden, Count Vaudémont sees the sleeping Iolanta and instantly falls in love. Robert, astounded by his friend’s behavior, asks him to leave. But the girl awakes, welcomes the knights and brings them some wine. Robert departs and leaves Vaudémont with Iolanta. The knight asks the girl to give him a red rose, but Iolanta gives him a white one. Vaudémont realizes that the girl is blind and tells her about the beauty of light and colours.
King Rene appears with a doctor. He understands that Iolanta has learned about her blindness. The King is desperate, but at the same time there is a hope for her recovery. Rene intentionally threatens to execute Vaudémont for revealing the truth to Iolanta, hoping that this will strengthen her will. He tells Iolanta Vaudémont will die if the physician fails to restore her sight. Iolanta is horrified, and agrees to the treatment to save her beloved. After Ibn-Hakia leaves with Iolanta, the King explains to Vaudémont that he was threatening him in order to motivate Iolanta. Robert returns with his guards. He admits his love to another lady and asks Rene to cancel the engagement. The King complies with the request and gives his consent for the wedding of Iolanta and Vaudémont. Ibn-Hakia and Iolanta return. The treatment has worked and now Iolanta can see.
“Iolanta” is one of the most lyrical and poetic works of the prominent Russian composer P. Tchaikovsky. Although being composed as chamber opera, it fully exposes heroic and sincere characters: King Rene, who carefully protects his daughter Iolanta; the wise doctor Ibn-Hakia, who ventures to cure blind girl; noble knight who loves Iolanta and who, despite the death threats, insists on an urgent treatment that will help the girl to see the light and the beauty of the earth. In the opera the entire life and invaluable experience of P. Tchaikovsky is concentrated. The opera sounds as a victory of the light and the spirit of human.
|René, King of Provence||
Yuriy Trytsetskyy Honored artist of Ukraine
|Iolanta, blind daughter of King René||
Lyubov Kachala Honored Artist of Ukraine
Luydmyla Ostash winner of the international competition
|Robert, Duke of Burgundy||
Vitalij Zagorbenskyj winner of the international competition
Petro Radeyko winner of the international competition
|Count Vaudémont, a Burgundian knight||
Roman Korentsvit winner of the international competition
|Marta, Bertrand's wife, Iolanta's nursemaid||
Nataliya Datsko Honored Artist of Ukraine
|Brigitta, Iolanta's friend||
Natalia Romanyuk Honored Artist of Ukraine
|Laura, Iolanta's friend||
Tetyana Vakhnovska Honored artist of Ukraine
Yana Voytyuk Honored Artist of Ukraine
|Ibn-Hakia, a Moorish physician||
Mykola Kornutyak winner of the international competition
|Alméric, armor-bearer to King René||
Roman Kovalchuk Honored Artist of Ukraine
|Bertrand, doorkeeper of the castle||