“Iolanta” is the last opera by Tchaikovsky. In 1884, the composer read the translation of the one-act drama in the verses of the Danish writer Henryk Hertz (1798-1870), “The daughter of King Rene” (1845) and was captivated by the originality and poetry of the plot.
At that time, Pyotr Ilyich worked on other works, and only in 1891 did he begin to compose “Iolanta.” The opera premiered on December 18, 1892 at the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater.
The touching story of a blind girl, shed thanks to love, has a deeper meaning. The eternal darkness in which the daughter of King Rene, unsuspecting of her misfortune, lives serene and calm, is a symbol of mental blindness. Only love ignites the passionate desire to see the world in Iolanta’s heart, gives rise to a willingness to sacrifice herself and the courage to endure torment, at the cost of which she will be able to see clearly. Continue reading