The Love for Three Oranges

Young Sergey Prokofiev’s opera upon the motives of Carlo Gozzi tale is a sea of a good humour, which the composer was able create for himself and the others despite anything. Travelling to America (across the whole revolutionary Russia, Japan and Pacific Ocean – with the message of “Oranges” in his head), he wrote in his diary:
“The principals of spiritual state during a journey.

How big the difference is between a long road, filled with nervousness, annoyance, offence, and a road, which all consists of good mood! It can be not very simple at the beginning, but then you should make an efforts to keep a good mood, working on it as if it is a difficult, but noble task, seeing it as a certain sport, at last. Keeping a good mood all the time is a reputation!”

“The Love for the Three Oranges” was ordered by Chicago Opera Company and was composed with lightning speed. The libretto was written in express trains during trips from New York to Chicago and back.

Prokofiev thought of lively, modern work. He was attracted by the new theatrical technologies, he admired Boris Anisfeld decorations and he was passionately dreaming of Meierhold’s directorship, who unfortunately wasn’t in Chicago… The music was literally composed with the watch in his hands: “I need to crop, crop, otherwise, my famous laconism will turn into endless talk.”

Shortly before the premiere Prokofiev changed one of the three princess names from Violetta to Linetta, in honour of Lina Kodina, the composer’s future wife. The only thing the author was worried about is the fact that in revolutionary years, “during the struggle and convulsions of the whole world”, such a carefree plot would not be in time. However, the fairy tale is eternally urgent, regardless your attention to miracles.

 

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