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Iolanta/Perséphone 

Iolanta is one act lyric opera by Tchaikovsky, sung in Russian. Princess Iolanta is born blind; her father, King René, forbids anyone to talk of beauty, light or the natural world hoping ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Dominique Blanc ...  Perséphone
Pavel Cernoch Pavel Cernoch ...  Vaudemónt
Khon Chansithyka Khon Chansithyka ...  Pluton
Irina Churilova Irina Churilova ...  Brigitta
Vasily Efimov Vasily Efimov ...  Alméric
Paul Groves Paul Groves ...  Eumolpe
Pavel Kudinov Pavel Kudinov ...  Bertrand
Alexej Markov Alexej Markov ...  Robert
Nam Narim Nam Narim ...  Mercure, Démophoon, Triptolème
Sam Sathya Sam Sathya ...  Perséphone (dancer)
Ekaterina Scherbachenko Ekaterina Scherbachenko ...  Iolanta
Ekaterina Semenchuk Ekaterina Semenchuk ...  Marta
Letitia Singleton Letitia Singleton ...  Laura
Chumvan Sodhachivy Chumvan Sodhachivy ...  Déméter
Dmitry Ulianov Dmitry Ulianov ...  King René
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Storyline

Iolanta is one act lyric opera by Tchaikovsky, sung in Russian. Princess Iolanta is born blind; her father, King René, forbids anyone to talk of beauty, light or the natural world hoping that she will not recognize her affliction. For Tchaikovsky, a fairytale was not an escape from reality but an opportunity to speak of forbidden reality. His imaginary kingdom is a place of secret remorse and private hurt, redeemed by an African Sufi healer and torrential, relentless, unlikely love. The intimate final opera is a spiritually charged Mozartian journey through darkness into light. Perséphone is a three act melodrama by Stravinsky, sung in French. In André Gide's Homeric poem, Perséphone goes into the underworld of her own free will, moved by compassion for those who must live there, poignantly evoking Christian sacrifice, and poetically suggesting a dawning awareness of the Stalin Terror of mass collectivization. A ritual drawn from the earliest agricultural myths of Western civilization... Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

opera | dance | ballet | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama | Music

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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Russian | French

Release Date:

24 January 2012 (Spain) See more »

Filming Locations:

Teatro Real, Madrid, Spain

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Stereo)| Dolby Digital (5.1 surround)

Color:

Color (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
Outstanding Iolanta, very interesting Persephone
7 July 2013 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Of the double bill of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Stravinsky's Persephone, I've always much preferred Iolanta. That I've always preferred Tchaikovsky's music over Stravinsky's may have something to do with it, but largely it's that Persephone's story is not as compelling as Iolanta's and can feel that there's not enough of it to sustain the opera's length. Peter Sellars' production of this double bill of operas is very good, with Iolanta dramatically being more involving in my opinion. In both productions, the production values are very striking, quite spare and simple sets and dark lighting especially in Persephone but never ugly. The staging is engaging in Iolanta, having a lot of power and intensity. Not much is quite done to make the drama of Persephone more interesting but the general passion of the performers and the lack of distaste(apart from the sighting of businessman garb for an opera set in the 15th century, which traditionalists may find weird) make up for this a lot. I will however mention that the choreography in Persephone is exquisite and beautifully danced. Tchaikovsky's music in Iolanta is pure magic and while Persephone is not one of Stravinsky's best works-I'm still not sure what to make of his style-it is still an interesting listen. The orchestra play both scores magnificently and the stirring chorus and detailed and clearly-intentioned conducting are just as impressive. There is very little to fault about the singing either, Willard White's Ikn-Hakia resonantly sung and nobly acted and Dmitri Ulianov's King Rene is affectingly impassioned. Ekaterina Scherbachenko's Iolanta and Pavel Cernoch's Vaudemont are sung with full rounded tone, total commitment to the music and excellent diction. Paul Groves still has a lovely voice and while the drama is not always compelling for him to embody his role he nonetheless shows that he is involved in what he's singing about. Dominique Blanc's speaking is emotive and crystalline, she also has a commanding stage presence. As said already the dancing is so elegant and will leave you captivated regardless of whether the drama of the story does so or not. All in all, a very good production on the whole though Iolanta comes off marginally better than Persephone does. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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