Bringing together again, for the first time since their premiere, Tchaikovsky's opera Iolanta and ballet The Nutcracker, was the audacious challenge that Russian stage director Dmitri Tcherniakov accepted for the Palais Garnier in Paris in March 2016 : a revolutionary production, which was to become one of the key events of the Paris Opera season. With great intelligence, Tcherniakov renews the dialogue between the two masterpieces, and reveals their common origins. He thus reminds us that both Iolanta and The Nutcracker are first and foremost initiatory journeys, in which the heroes experience love and loss, fortune and misfortune. In doing so, Dmitri Tcherniakov, with the collaboration of contemporary choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Edouard Lock and Arthur Pita, goes as far as to completely disregard the magical extravaganzas that Marius Petipa associated to The Nutcracker, and radically turns the dream into a nightmare dominated by despair and loneliness. To insure the continuity and a sense of dramatic consistency between the opera and the ballet, Tcherniakov skillfully modulates the space provided by the Palais Garnier. A solution that also enables him to question the very nature of both theater and illusion, as well as their specular relationship with the reality they try to make us forget. Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva delivers a flamboyant interpretation of the blind princess Iolanta, and shares the stage with Polish tenor Arnold Rutkowski and Ukrainian bass Alexander Tsymbalyuk. The internationally renowned French conductor Alain Altinoglu joins forces with the Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus, while the Paris Opera Ballet, among which Marion Barbeau- a radiant Marie - and the Etoiles Stéphane Bullion and Alice Renavand, revives the most popular ballet of all time.