The Love for Three Oranges by Sergei Prokofiev was staged in Perm – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The Perm Opera and Ballet Theater, which has been setting the tone for Russian musical and theatrical life for several decades, found itself in a turbulent zone on the eve of its 150th anniversary. Recently, they talked about him not so much in connection with the premieres, but in connection with the pending problem of building a new stage, the departure of the brightest leader Theodor Currentzis and the part of the team that followed him, the change of power in the legendary ballet troupe and the recent rapid transfer of the theater director Andrei to Moscow Borisov. Pandemic, two quarantines, restrictions on the number of spectators, the troupe also did not escape. But the most ephemeral of the arts has shown its reinforced concrete structure in Perm: “The Love for Three Oranges” is already the second opera premiere of this season, presented by a team of new young leaders.

In the Urals, the production was dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Prokofiev. The opera was written by a very young composer full of enthusiasm, fire and new ideas. It is based on the fiaba of the Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi, who for Prokofiev combined the Italian comedy del arte with the theatrical experiment of Vsevolod Meyerhold, whose script the composer used for his libretto. But in Perm, “The Love for Three Oranges” was reassembled. “The action takes place in a fictional state in the middle of the last century in one closed research institute,” warn director Philip Grigorian and playwright Ilya Kukharenko.

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It is not difficult to calculate the coordinates of a fictional state for those who grew up watching the films “Spring”, “Nine Days of One Year”, “I’m Going into a Thunderstorm”. The authors stuffed the plot with cultural parallels and perpendiculars, competing in drive with a young composer.

But it is better to sort out new collisions before the start of the performance, in order to follow the process of creating a “new person” in laboratory conditions, without floundering in numerous details, especially since the juice of the Perm “Oranges” turns out not only and not so much in their new theatrical appearance (for set design is also answered by Grigoryan, costume designer Vlada Pomirkovanaya, lighting designer Sergei Vasiliev). The new musical director of the Perm Opera, conductor Artem Abashev, gives the production an elastic muscle energy.

Thanks to him, one can not only appreciate the beauty of the “roller coasters” arranged by Prokofiev with their orchestral mood swings and speeds.

The composition of singers sounds like a single collected and well-coordinated ensemble, provoking to mention almost every one of fifteen soloists. Therefore, the 150th anniversary of the Perm Opera makes us look forward to this celebration, especially since this season the premieres of “Carmen” directed by Konstantin Bogomolov and Philip Chizhevsky and “Iolanta” by the new chief director of the theater Marat Gatsalov, Artem Abashev and Ksenia Peretrukhina are promised.


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