The Love for Three Oranges, Prokofiev – Opera
Philippe Calvario, Tugan Sokhiev – Aix-en-Provence Festival
A fairytale-like production of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges, conducted by Tugan Sokhiev and directed by Philippe Calvario, at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2004.
After his successful visit in the United States in 1918, Prokofiev received from the director of the Chicago Opera Association, Cleofonte Campanini, a commission to compose an opera. The result of this commission was The Love for Three Oranges, a satirical opera drawing its inspiration from Carlo Gozzi's play published in 1761. It is thanks to the avant-garde stage director Vsevolod Meyerhold that Prokofiev discovered Gozzi's work. Inspired by this play in which several plots are intertwined, in which appear several fairy characters having all the Commedia dell'Arte's features, Prokofiev composed a spirited music on a libretto written by himself in Russian. The premiere took place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Illinois, on the 30th of December 1921, in a French version.
With this production of The Love for Three Oranges at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2004, Philippe Calvario made his début as a stage director. As this video bears witness, the set designs, the costumes and the actors' playing – and especially Andrei Iliouchnikov's performance, give a perfect rendition of this burlesque opera filled with slapsticks of every kind. The young Tugan Sokhiev, a former pupil of Valery Gergiev, conducts here the musicians throughout this frenzied performance.
The King of Clubs has asked Truffaldino, the jester, to heal with laughter his son the Prince, a young man who became sad after an excessive reading of tragic poetry. But this is a hard task, especially so since Clarice, the King's niece, Leandro, her lover, and the witch Fata Morgana plot against the Prince to take his place after his death. Yet, the Prince eventually laughs, seeing the witch knocked over by Truffaldino and falling down. Furious, the witch curses the Prince: henceforth, he will be obsessed by a love for three oranges kept by a giant female cook. Thanks to Truffaldino and a few magic objects, the Prince succeeds in seducing the three oranges, transformed into three beautiful princesses. Two of them die, yet the last one survives, and eventually gets married with the Prince.
© Picture: Elizabeth Carecchio
Jean-Marc Stehlé set designer
Aurore Popineau costumes
Bertrand Couderc lighting
Alexei Tannovistki (The King of Clubs)
Andrei Iliouchnikov (The Prince)
Nadezhda Serdjuk (Princess Clarissa)
Eduard Tsanga (Leandro)
Kirill Dusheschkin (Truffaldino)
Vladislas Sulimsky (Pantalone)
Pavel Schmulevich (The wizzard Tchelio)
Ekaterina Shimanovitch (Fata Morgana)
Sophie Tellier (Linetta)
Natalia Yevstafieva (Nicoletta)
Julia Smorodina (Ninetta)
Yury Vorobiev (The Cook)
Alexander Gerasimov (Farfarello)
Wojciek Ziarnik (Herald)
Juan Noval-Moro (Master of Ceremonies)
Michel Fau (The Diva)
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Joshard Daus chorus master
Duration : 01 h 49 min
Location : Aix-en-Provence Festival (Aix-en-Provence, France)
Production date : 2004
Production : © Bel Air Media
Available version(s) : RU ST EN, RU ST FR