Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Opera in 1 prologue & 4 acts
Stage Design : Philippe Calvario
The Prince Andrey Ilyushnikov
The Princess Nadezhda Serdjuk
Leandro Eduard Tsanga
Trouffaldino Kirill Dushechkin
Fata Morgana Ekaterina Shimanovitch
Linetta Sophie Tellier
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Conductor : Tugan Sokhiev
2004 production of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, performed in the theatre of Grand Saint-Jean. The cast list suggested Larissa Gergieva’s Mariinsky Theatre young singers academy had set up their summer camp in Aix to give the audience a taste of Russia’s youngest singing talents.
Philippe Calvario made his debut as a theatre director. His debut didn’t reveal any inexperience. He knew how to make the best use of all the possibilities the theatre offered. With an admirable dash and panache, he placed the chorus groups around, very often to hilarious effect. The cheap stage constructions and the candy-coloured costumes fitted perfectly with his slapstick approach. The sometimes sharp, sometimes burlesque music of Prokofiev invites an over-the-top approach.
Conductor Tugan Sokhiev, only 26 years old, made a favourable impression. In his conducting of the Prokofiev score, it was easy to hear that he was a pupil of Valery Gergiev. Sokhiev has the same hard-edged drive as his master, pushing for large dynamic contrasts. With the young and enthusiastic cast, this works wonderfully well.