Scottish Opera, as part of their concert series put on Tchaikovsky’s final opera, Iolanta. I wouldn’t however have described it as a ‘concert performance’ as it’s not enough credit to the wonderful performances all-round, I would describe it as semi-staged. 

The story briefly is that Iolanta has been blind her whole life but has never been told that she is, or that she is different to anyone else. Since childhood she has been bethrothed to Count Vaudémont (who is in love with someone else) but when his friend Robert, Duke of Burgundy sees her and falls in love, he tries to do something that no one has done for Iolanta her entire life- help her see…

The performances were wonderful all round. Gulnara Shafigullina who played Iolanta had a wonderful voice and great acting skills but did need to project a bit more, especially as right there with the orchestra. The two stand-outs for me were Alexey Dolgov who was Count Vaudémont and Alexei Tanovitski who was René, King of Provence and Iolanta’s father. Both gave phenomenal performances and their arias were stunning. 

Stuart Stratford conducted the orchestra well and the orchestra themselves were wonderful, particularly with the finale. 

Scottish Opera brought something magic to Glasgow with this unique performance of Iolanta, the music, the performances were spot on and I just want to watch it again. 


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