Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theater opens "The Love of Three Oranges"

Yekaterinburg's Opera and Ballet Theatre recently opened Sergei Prokofiev's "The Love of Three Oranges," an opera in four acts.

The satirical opera was written by Sergei Prokofiev, with a French libretto based on the Italian play "L'amore delle tre melarance" by Carlo Gozzi.

The opera had its premier in Chicago on December 30, 1921, at the Auditorium Theatre. The first Russian production was performed in 1926 in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg.

Prokofiev was commissioned to write the opera during his first visit to the United States in 1918.

Criticisms of the original Chicago production were harsh, though it has since become standard repertoire for many opera companies.

The original production drew from surrealist influences as well as Commedia dell'Arte. In a 1988 production for Opera North, scratch and sniff cards were handed out to the audience, with scents matching certain events that occurred in the staging, including gunshots and the aroma of oranges, among other, less desirable scents.