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Prokofiev – The Love for Three Oranges

The King of Clubs – Alain Vernhes

The Prince – Martial Defontaine

Princess Clarice – Natascha Petrinsky

Leandro – Francois Le Roux

Truffaldino – Serghei Khumov

Pantalon – Marcel Boone

Tchelio – Willard White

Fata Morgana – Anna Shafajinskaja

Three Princesses – Sylvia Kevorkian, Magali de Prelle, Sandrine Piau

The Cook – Richard Angas

Farfarello – Alexander Vassiliev

Smereldina – Marianna Kulikova


Musical Director – Stephane Deneve

Stage Director & Costume Designer– Laurent Pelly

TV Director – Misjel Vermeiren

Set Designer – Chantal Thomas

Lighting Designer – Joel Adam

Choreographer – Laura Scozzi


Opus Arte - DVD OA 0957 D – 144 mins - Recorded at Het Muzieckheater, Amsterdam , 2005


Commedia dell' arte is the root of Prokofiev's fairy-story for grown ups, and Director Laurent Pelly, who is also responsible for the costume design, has created his own surrealist world of fantasy characters.


The sets (by Chantal Thomas) are constructed from giant playing cards with the patterned backs changing colour with the location – royal blue for the King's palace, scarlet for Creonte's kitchen, and shades of gold for the desert. The magic world outside is a black void.


Sung here to the 1921 French libretto Prokofiev's quicksilver score calls for constant motion on stage, and even some gymnastics – Martial Defontaine (the Prince) has to execute a series of high kicks whilst singing – which he does to equally dramatic effect.


By a wonderful piece of serendipity, the conductor Stephane Deneve has a long mane of curly orange hair, making him look very much part of the mise en scene when members of the cast stray into the orchestra pit and try to take over the rostrum.


There is luxury casting throughout, so the best of singing is assured. Sandrine Piau looks suitably vulnerable as Ninette and sings with all grace of a Princess. Willard White towers as the magician Tchelio and relishes his battle for supremacy with Fata Morgana (Anna Shafajinskaja). Francoise Le Roux makes a particularly prissy Leandro amply assisted by Marianna Kulikova as an obnoxious Smereldina.


The chorus have a hectic time but appear to enjoy every minute, especially the small group who form the Eccentrics. It is impossible not to get caught up in all the fun, but be warned, that catchy march will stick in head for days and you will find yourself humming it wherever you walk.


Serena Fenwick