An extraordinary double bill
The epic double bill returns for another season at the Met Opera this winter, consisting of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle. Mariusz Trelinski's beautiful production stole the hearts of Opera fans when it premiered back in 2015.
After her triumphant run as Tosca last season, soprano Sonya Yoncheva depicts the blind princess Iolanta, with tenor Matthew Polenzani playing her heart-throb knight Vaudemont. In the chilling Bluebeard's Castle Gerald Finley plays the menacing Bluebeard with Angela Denoke as his long-suffering wife, Judith.
WHAT ARE THE OPERAS ABOUT?
Iolanta is a bittersweet fairy tale based around disability. When a blind princess grows up in the cossetted world of her overprotective father, she is unaware of her predicament. A Moorish physician tries to heal her but to no avail - the King is getting impatient, for he has arranged Iolanta to be married to Robert, a prince from another kingdom whose heart aches for another. He meets Iolanta but is unmoved - however his companion Vaudemonte is utterly bewitched by her. This tale examines what it means to see, and whether or not a cure to ills provides salvation to the sufferer.
Bluebeard's Castle is a dark, erotic thriller with influences of 1940s film noir, combined with fantasy and the dangers of too much knowledge. When Judith leaves her peaceful life behind to explore the darkness of Bluebeard, she is faced with seven locked doors within his domain. Some of these doors contain horrors, others treasure - but will she see what lies behind the last door - and what will it mean for her?