• ComposerPyotr Tchaikovsky
  • LibrettistModest Tchaikovsky
  • based on the playKong Renés Daughter by Henrik Hertz
  • ConductorStuart Stratford
  • DirectorAnnilese Miskimmon
  • DesignerNicky Shaw
  • LightingSimon Corder


“To establish and maintain such appalling neurotic tension, balance it with the sweetness of the score, allow lullabies, laments and love duets to unfold luxuriously, suggest a syphilitic subtext to King René’s guilt, and introduce and explore the characters of Iolanta’s swaggering betrothed, Robert (Mark Stone), and the stranger who liberates her, Vaudemont (Peter Auty), is an extraordinary achievement for Miskimmon, designer Nicky Shaw, conductor Stuart Stratford, the City of London Sinfonia, and the cast.”

“A rarely staged masterpiece full of dazzling melodies, presented in an intelligent production with superb singing and playing … it’s yet another hit for Holland Park.”
“By setting the story in the 1890s, director Annilese Miskimmon and designer Nicky Shaw create a claustrophobic, Freudian atmosphere which makes perfect sense of the themes and yet allows us to ponder their troubling ramifications for ourselves.”

“A previous production “left one thinking that a concert presentation might be all it needs, but at Holland Park Annilese Miskimmon and her brilliant designer Nicky Shaw suggested otherwise”
“Shaw’s semi-abstract set evoked an out-of-joint fantasy world on the edge of a forest. The characters wore costumes the young Sigmund Freud would have recognised and Miskimmon depicted them as distraught romantic individuals caught in the maelstrom of social change around the turn of the century”
“it was Miskimmon’s subtle and beautiful staging, as much as the excellent musical performance, that remains in the memory: a vindication of the stageworthiness of Tchaikovsky’s late opera”

“Nicky Shaw‘s garden setting looked luscious, and the staging was simple and ultimately very moving”
“Holland Park’s excellent Iolanta”

“It has actually taken OHP’s inspired production of Tchaikovsky’s last opera Iolanta to convince me that it is a near-masterpiece, because no recording or performance I have heard or seen before has approached this level of conviction and intensity, with acting and singing to match, while Stuart Stratford’s conducting is magnificent.”

“Nicky Shaw’s designs conjure an enclosed garden in the forest where Iolanta is kept hidden from the world and Annilese Miskimmon’s staging charts every point in the unfolding story with unerring skill. The production reveals the opera as a neglected masterpiece.”