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Orange revolution

Published: March 9, 2007 (Issue # 1252)



  • Alain Maratrat (l) directs performers at a rehearsal of his production of The Love For Three Oranges at the Mariinsky Theater this week.
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

Alain Maratrat aims to awaken opera fans joi de vivre in his production of Sergei Prokofievs The Love For Three Oranges which premieres on Wednesday at the Mariinsky Theater.

Inspired by Carlo Gozzis commedia dellarte scenario, the surrealistic and enchanting work is Prokofievs most widely performed opera. The Gozzi tale was admired by the composer for its bright theatricality and a whimsical fusion of magic and parody.

When I left Moscow, I took a volume of plays with me for the journey; in it was printed Carlo Gozzis The Love For Three Oranges, Prokofiev wrote in his diary. It held me spellbound with its mix of fairy tales, humor and satire it was during that long journey that I began something resembling a sketch for the opera.

The Love For Three Oranges tells the story of a hypochondriac prince who falls in love with a princess from a distance. The prince is looking for a place for himself and is rewarded by the love of the princess. The opera is packed with miracles, parodies and mystifications.

The opera first saw the stage in Chicago on Dec. 30, 1921, and immediately became a favorite on the international opera scene. It enjoyed its first staging at the Mariinsky five years later. Prokofiev welcomed the Russian premiere staged by director Sergei Radlov by saying that the show was by far the most successful production of the opera he had seen. Mariinskys second take on the opera, directed by Alexander Petrov, followed in 1991.

This work is like a bustling musical show, with a lot of drive and passion, Maratrat, the French director of the latest version, said, exuding enthusiasm and promising a dynamic production with snappy changes of set. And this is a fantastic story.

Maratrat is hoping to inspire and encourage a more cheerful and more curious attitude in the audiences. The hypochondriac prince has become a common type these days, the director feels.

There are so many young people who do exactly the same shutting themselves off from the real world, hiding from reality on the internet, and being afraid of life itself, Maratrat said. They need a way out of that trap, and the story of the poor prince shows one such way. We need to make it believable.

I do feel I need to whet peoples appetite for life, Maratrat told The St. Petersburg Times in an interview between rehearsals on Tuesday. Look around, and you see that even young people have a meagre appetite for life; dull, uninspired faces abound the streets, regardless of where you go. People just do not smile anymore.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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