Shedding Light on Artistic Vision: Q&A with Iolanta Scenic Designer and Director, and Lighting Designer
By Linda Smith
Pyotr Tchaikovsky was never a fan of his last opera Iolanta, finished a year before his death in 1893. He felt it repeated themes from his earlier operas, and the plot is simple, especially when compared to other works in the operatic genre. As such, it is rarely performed. Iolanta takes us through the world of the title character, who is born a blind princess. She is raised by castle servant Bertrand and his wife Marta, and is unaware of her blindness and status. In fact, she naïvely and tragically believes that eyes are only for crying. The opera is a back-and-forth between two helpful characters -- a doctor who can cure Iolanta's blindness and her love interest Count Vaudémont -- and her well-meaning yet obstinate father King René.
Scenic designer and director Christian Räth, and light designer Thomas C. Hase explain their vision for Iolanta, and how this production came about.More »