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The world premieres of Iolanta and The Nutcracker took place on 18 December 1892 at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. “The execution of both,” wrote the composer to his brother Anatoly the next day, “was magnificent, and that of the ballet perhaps too magnificent – its brilliance made one’s eyes tired.” Gustav Mahler conducted the first performance of the one-act opera outside Russia on 3 January 1893 in Hamburg and also directed the Viennese premiere of Iolanta on 22 March 1900.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Iolanta, Op. 69, TH 11
Scene: Moy ptenchik, Iolanta, ty ustala? (Marthe, Iolanta, Brigitte, Laura, Chorus) - Arioso: Otchego eto prezhde ne znala li toskya ya (Iolanta)
“as a young innocent, Golovneva's Iolanta is preferable to the fuller, darker soprano of Netrebko…Vinogradov's soft-grained bass is rock-solid and on magnificent form…Popov is in mellifluous, heady voice as Vaudémont…a top-drawer recording of an increasingly significant opera.”