Iola, the little Indian girl, is held captive by a gang of cutthroats but is soon rescued by Jack Harper, a prospector. She is truly grateful to Jack, and regards him as something different from other white people. Jack's sweetheart and her father are travellers in a wagon-train headed for this place, and, not having much luck so far, he is somewhat gloomy. Iola learns the reason, and promises to help him find gold. "Will you?" he says, "Yes." "Cross your heart?" This cross-your-heart action mystifies Iola. She thinks it is a sort of tribe insignia and tells her people that "Crossheart" people are all right. Iola surely pays her debt of gratitude, not only in finding gold, but in giving her life to protect Jack's sweetheart from her own people.
Strephon, a shepherd (the son of a Fairy, Iolanthe, and a mortal), is in love with Phyllis, a shepherdess. He wants to marry her, but, although Phyllis also loves Strephon, she has a dilemma - she is so beautiful that all of the House of Lords, as well as her guardian, the Lord Chancellor, are also desirous of marrying her. There are many complications - including the peers being threatened by the Fairies - before a happy conclusion is reached by all.
Filmed version of 1982 production of Tshaikovsky's opera.
Valery Gergiev conducts Mariusz Trelinski’s thrilling new production of these rarely heard one-act operas. Anna Netrebko stars as the blind princess of the title in Tchaikovsky’s lyrical work, opposite Piotr Beczala as Vaudémont, the man who wins her love—and wakes her desire to be able to see. Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko are Judith and Bluebeard in Bartók’s gripping psychological thriller about a woman discovering her new husband’s murderous past.
This 1984 production from the Stratford Festival breathes new life into Gilbert and Sullivan's fanciful 1882 operetta that, in its day, was regarded as a scorching satire of England's pre-eminent politicos. The performance features illustrious contralto Maureen Forrester as the Queen of the Fairies, who tangle with the House of Lords to unite the title character's half-fairy, half-mortal son and his true love.
Iolanta is a one act lyric opera, sung in Russian, by Tchaikovsky. Performed in the style of a nineteenth-century Italian melodrama, the scenes have a recitative introduction followed by a single arioso, aria, duet or chorus. Persephone is a three act melodrama, sung in French, by Stravinsky. It is a story of regeneration, symbolised in Sellars use of dancers from the Cambodian dance company, Amrita Performing Arts. Peter Sellars, one of the most innovative creators on today's stage, has linked these two productions by using the same stage setting, instantly archaic yet modern, and lit by rich colours to define the journey from darkness to light.
Iolo Williams explores the behaviour of birds in Wales, revealing all aspects of their lives from surviving harsh winters and avoiding predators, to living alongside us in our towns and cities.