PRESENTS TCHAIKOVSKY’S “IOLANTA” IN SEASON-OPENING PERFORMANCES ON NOVEMBER 10, 15 AND 18
AT HISTORIC STUDEBAKER THEATER
Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya Leads Chicago Premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Final Opera
Chicago Opera Theater (COT) will kick off the 2018/2019 season with “Iolanta,” a Chicago premiere of legendary composer
P.I. Tchaikovsky’s final opera.
Internationally renowned and award-winning conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya will make her conducting debut as Chicago Opera Theater’s Staley Music Director and set the tone for the season to come. Acclaimed stage director Paul Curran, known for his work at Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera Chicago and
more, will shape the retelling of this joyous love-story, featuring an almost entirely Chicago-based cast including soprano
Katherine Weber as Iolanta, and renowned Russian bass Mikhail Svetlov as Rene. The opening night performance takes place on Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Studebaker Theater (410 S. Michigan Ave.) Additional performances will take place Thursday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 18 at 3 p.m.
“After 18 months of planning and preparation behind the scenes, I’m thrilled to finally be jumping into the COT orchestra pit,” said COT’s Staley Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya. “I’m particularly gratified to have the opportunity to bring the sounds of my homeland to my new home, as this opera Tchaikovsky’s last – has never before been staged in Chicago.
‘Iolanta’ is a very personal work, written by Tchaikovsky at the height of his compositional powers, alongside the person closest to him – his brother Modest. Perhaps because it examines the transformed worldviews of characters in dramatically different life stages, I find that the work resonates in a new way each time I conduct it.”
“Iolanta” tells the story of a princess, with Weber starring in the titular role, who has been blind since birth. She is unaware of her condition and her privileged social status thanks to the actions of her over protective father, King Rene. When the well-meaning Duke Vaudemont falls in love with her, she learns of her blindness and true love offers her a chance at a cure. Iolanta must choose between the life built for her and one she’s never seen.
The opera is based on the Danish play “Kong René Datter” by Henrik Hertz, a romanticized take on the life of Yolande de Bar. The opera premiered on December 18, 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, sharing a double bill with Tchaikovsky’s last ballet, “The Nutcracker.
In addition to Weber and Svetlov, the cast includes John Irvin as Vaudemont
Christopher Magiera as Robert,
Bill McMurray as Ibn-Hakia,
Emma Ritter as Marta,
Katherine Peterson as Brigitta,
Annie Rosen as Laura,
David Govertsenas Bertrand,
and Kyle Knapp as Almeric.
Creative Team for Iolanta
Composer: P.I. Tchaikovsky
Librettist: Modest Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya
Stage Director: Paul Curran
Lighting & Projection
Designer: Driscoll Otto
Scenic Design: Alan Muraoka
Costume Design: Jenny Mannis
Saturday, November 10, 7:30 pm.
Thursday, November 15, 7:30pm.
Sunday, November 18, 3 pm.
Subscriptions to the 2018/2019 season of Chicago Opera Theater are on sale now for $95 - $435. Single show tickets for “Iolanta”
chicagooperatheater.org for $45 - $145.