Russian composer, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s tale of Iolanta is coming to the Gaborone Convention Centre on Sunday, 17th August.
Iolanta, the King of Provence’s blind daughter, grows up unaware of her lack of sight. Her father closely guarded the truth about her disability from her by ordering his servants to promise on pain of death not to tell her about her blindness.
Since infancy, the princess, Iolanta, has been betrothed to Robert, Duke of Burgundy, who, like Iolanta, is unaware of her disability. The Duke arrives at King Renes castle accompanied by his friend, Count Vaudemont. Upon discovering Iolanta’s blindness, he leaves right away, leaving his friend the Count with Iolanta.
Both the Count and Iolanta discover her blindness when he asks her to pick him a red rose in memory of their meeting and Iolanta plucks him a white one.
He picks up a bunch of roses and asks her how many roses there are in the bunch, to which she requests that he give her the bouquet so that she may count the flowers.
The story was written by Tchaikovsky’s brother, Modest, who adapted it from a Danish play, titled King Rene’s Daughter, by Henrik Hertz. Modest Tchakovsky toned down the mystic overtones of Henrik Hertz’ play.
In the opera Iolanta regains her sight by her own will to do so.
Performing Iolanta, WeSSide Entertainment, co-sponsored by Norlsk Nickel, Grand Palm, Orange Botswana, Duma FM and The Sunday Standard, this year brings Russia’s sixty-five member opera and orchestra from Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, which is one of the oldest and highly rated in Russia.
Tickets cost P440 for adults and P250 for children. The Ticket Office is based at the Walmont Ambassador Foyer and is open daily from 8am to 1pm.