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IOLANTA (article first published : 2008-07-20)

Impresario Edouard Miasnikov is to presents an African premiere of the one act lyric opera Iolanta.

The great Russian composer PI Tchaikovsky wrote his last opera, Iolanta, in 1892. In August this year, this historical event will be celebrated in the cultural life of South Africa. After 116 years, the opera Iolanta will premiere on the African continent.

The Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera is one of the oldest and most known theatres of Russia. This theatre known for traditional and classical productions was opened in 1912. Sixty-five members of the opera and orchestra will perform arias and extracts from the opera Eugene Onegin in act 1, and Iolanta, the lyric opera in act 2.

The story of the opera deals with the blind Princess Iolanta, betrothed in infancy to the Duke of Burgundy, has never been told of her blindness by command of her father, King René of Provence. On the very same day that a doctor arrives to restore Iolanta's sight, the Duke turns up with his best friend Vaudémont, who falls in love with Iolanta. Insisting that Iolanta will see only if she really wants to, the doctor declares a cure unlikely since Iolanta's ignorance has brought her happiness as she is.

On discovering Iolanta's blindness, Vaudémont compares light and love, which makes instantaneous sense to his beloved. King René says Vaudémont must die if Iolanta isn't cured after further examination by Ibn-Hakia. When Iolanta returns cured, Vaudémont is saved. Iolanta is lost in the wonder of the visual world she now discovers for the first time.

Iolanta will be sung in Russian with English subtitles. Performances take place on August 12 and 13 at 19h30 in the Playhouse Opera. Tickets prices are R130, R180, R230, and R290. Booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or www.computicket.co.za

NB: Tickets purchased before August 6 will be discounted by 10%.




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