Music Director - Anton Grishanin
Stage Director - Sergey Zhenovach
Designer - Alexander Borovsky
Lighting Designer - Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master - Valery Borisov
Iolanta, the blind daughter of the King of Provence, is telling her nurse, Martha, that she is full of some unknown longing. Iolanta's friends, Brigitte and Laura, try to cheer her up by singing songs and bringing her flowers. Martha also tries to comfort Iolanta by singing her favorite lullaby. This sends Iolanta to sleep.
Enter Alméric, King René's sword-bearer. He informs the castle porter, Bertrand, that very soon the King will be arriving with a famous Physician who, it is hoped, will cure Iolanta's blindness. The trumpets sound, announcing the arrival of the King. King René enters accompanied by the Moorish Physician, Ibn-Hakia. The King explains that Iolanta has been betrothed from infancy to Robert, Duke of Burgundy, and is soon to marry him, but the Duke does not know that his future wife is blind. Indeed, Iolanta herself is totally unaware of her misfortune. Iolanta has been brought up by her father in this remote castle. He surrounded her with loyal retainers and forbade them on pain of death to tell her the truth. Ibn-Hakia says that the only hope for Iolanta is to inform her of her disability and then, so long as she passionately wishes to recover her sight, she will do so. King René is full of doubts and fear for his daughter's future.
Robert, Duke of Burgundy, and his friend Count Vaudémont, appear. They are impressed to find a beautiful garden in such a wild, remote spot. They are, however, puzzled to see a notice which threatens with death anyone entering it without permission. Robert is downhearted for he is soon to be united in matrimony with some Iolanta whom he has never met, while his heart already belongs to another.
A girl appears on the terrace. Vaudémont is struck by her beauty. Hearing unfamiliar voices, the girl, who is in fact Iolanta, suggests to the strangers that they rest under the shade of the trees and hurries off to fetch them some wine. Robert does not trust the stranger and decides to leave. Vaudémont enchanted by Iolanta's beauty and stays behind. When Iolanta returns he tells her of the great impression she has made on him and asks her to pick him a red rose in memory of their meeting. Iolanta hands him a rose, but it is a white one. Vaudémont repeats his request and again he is given a white rose. He begins to suspect something is wrong with the girl. To make sure, he picks a bunch of roses and asks Iolanta to tell him how many flowers there are in the bunch. Iolanta explains that to count them she needs to touch each flower. Vaudémont realizes that Iolanta is blind and tells her so. He starts to describe to her the wonders of God's world which she is destined never to see, but Iolanta argues that eyesight is not necessary to appreciate the beauty of the world.
Voices are heard: the King enters, followed by Physician Ibn-Hakia and servants. René is horrified when he learns that Vaudémont has told Iolanta of her disability and finally suggests that she should try Ibn-Hakia's course of treatment. Iolanta remains indifferent to the idea which makes the Physician lose all hope. Noticing that Iolanta is very much taken by Vaudémont, King René tells Vaudémont that he will be executed unless his daughter recovers her sight. Iolanta then begs the Physician to cure her.
A fanfare of trumpets announces the arrival of the Duke of Burgundy who, with a group of armed knights, is hurrying to the rescue of his friend. Robert is amazed to see King René. Vaudémont confesses to Robert that he is in love with Iolanta, the latter’s betrothed, and asks him to tell the King that he, Robert, has given his heart to someone else. René consents to the marriage of Iolanta and Count Vaudémont. Shouts of joy are heard, and Iolanta, who has recovered her sight, appears at the castle door. Overjoyed, King René hurries to embrace his daughter and then leads Vaudémont up to her. Everyone gives passionate thanks to God for her recovery.