RAO Double Bill: Iolanta and L'enfant et les sortilèges

Field, night sky, wooden door

Gareth Hancock conductor
Oliver Platt director
Alyson Cummins designer
Jake Wiltshire lighting designer

Tchaikovsky Iolanta, Op 69
Ravel L’enfant et les sortilèges

These two exquisite short operas depict the relationships between parents and children, the play between the outside world and internal life, and the power of the imagination. Expect an evening of wonder and mystical storytelling, full of theatrical and musical magic.

Iolanta, Tchaikovsky’s last opera, originally written to be paired with The Nutcracker, is a fairytale of a blind princess kept in a secluded secret garden by her father, protected from the terrors of the outside world. In this sterilised environment, ignorant of her condition, she is prevented from living a normal life – but perhaps there is a way to set her free.

Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, with a libretto by Colette, centres on a rebellious child who refuses to do his homework. When scolded by his mother, he lashes out at all his toys and pets, and even the characters in his book. Then, as he escapes to the garden, the animals and all of nature turn on him, until he encounters a wounded animal and a chance for salvation.


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