Excellent Performance of The Love for Three Oranges Results in a Delightful Evening

10/12/2018

Prokofiev, Die Liebe zu drei Orangen (The Love for Three Oranges): Komische Oper Orchestra and Chorus / Ainārs Rubiķis (conductor), Komische Oper Berlin, 8.12.2018. (JMI)

Die Liebe zu drei Orangen © M. Ritterhaus

Production:

Direction – Andreas Homoki
Sets – Frank Philipp Schlössmann
Costumes – Mechthild Seipel
Lighting – Franck Evin

Cast:

Prince – Thomas Blondelle
Princess Ninetta – Mirka Wagner
Fata Morgana – Svetlana Sozdateleva
Truffaldino – Ivan Turšić
King – Jens Larsen
Celio/Cook – Philipp Meierhöfer
Leander – Günter Papendell
Princess Clarice – Maria Fiselier
Smeraldine – Karolina Gumos
Pantalone – Dominik Köninger
Farfarello/Herald – Samuli Taskinen
Princess Linetta – Marta Mika
Princess Nicoletta – Georgina Melville

It is always a pleasure to attend a performance of this opera, a fairy tale accompanied by great music. I saw the Komische Oper production (which is sung in German) five years ago, but found it even more convincing this time in terms both of musical direction and vocal cast.

The Andreas Homoki staging has become a classic in this theater and traveled successfully to opera houses in other countries. A colorful, attractive production, it tells the story with a sense of humor and plenty of touches that appeal to children (of whom there were many in the audience). The sets make good use of props like giant storybooks, oranges and animals, and the costumes are lively and amusing. The stage direction is also very good, especially in terms of the chorus, and the artists perform without any kind of reservation. It all makes for a funny, unpretentious show, and the spectators have a delightful time.

Ainārs Rubiķis, Music Director of the Komische Oper, led a remarkable performance by the orchestra and chorus. Two months ago, I was impressed by his conducting of Die tote Stadt (review click here), and he fully confirmed the positive opinion I had formed.

On this occasion, tenor Thomas Blondelle gave a compelling performance as the Prince. He has an attractive voice and is very comfortable on stage. Good too was tenor Ivan Turšić in the part of Truffaldino, the Prince’s companion in his adventures, who handles his voice very nicely.

Fata Morgana was played by soprano Svetlana Sozdateleva; she sang well and was a good comedian. Her companion, Celio, was well interpreted by the bass Philipp Meierhöfer, who doubled as the Cook in the Palace of Creonte. Repeating the role from five years ago, soprano Mirka Wagner was again a convincing Princess Ninetta.

The sonorous bass Jens Larsen as the King was well-suited to the role, as were the intriguing pair formed by Günter Papendell (Leander) and Maria Fiselier (Princess Clarice). Dominik Köninger did well in the part of Pantalone, the king’s advisor, and so did Karolina Gumos as Smeraldine, the assistant to the Fata Morgana. Samuli Taskinen was an amusing Farfarello, and both Georgina Melville (Princess Nicoletta) and Marta Mika (Princess Linetta) were good in their brief appearances.

The theater was almost sold out, and the behavior of the remarkable number of children was exemplary throughout the performance. The artists were warmly received in the final bows.

José M. Irurzun

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Venus Unwrapped: Kings Place’s Year-Long Focus on Women Composers __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Buenos Aires in 2019 – Largely Traditional __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet at the London Coliseum 13 December 2018 – 20 January 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Looking Ahead to the 2019 Lucerne Festivals __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Holland Park’s 2019 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Met: Live in HD in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Exciting 2018/19 Cinema Season __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 and Beyond __________________________________
  • NEW! Salzburg Whitsun Festival 7 – 10 June 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 UK Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018-2019 Geneva Grand Theâtre Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Hallé Season in Manchester __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 BBC NOW in Cardiff and Swansea __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Opera in 2018/19 and the New Free Tickets Scheme __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018/19 Birmingham Classical Season __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! PIANIST MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! Ik zeg: NU: I say now, now … an interview with Richard Causton __________________________________
  • NEW! Grieg Grainger Piano Rolls: an Equivocation __________________________________
  • NEW AND UPDATED! SOME OF SEEN AND HEARD’S REVIEWERS LOOK BACK AT 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR ÁDÁM FISCHER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • NEW! BARITONE SIMON MECHLIŃSKI IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR ELIM CHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Iain Farrington’s Mahler Piano Series was an Extraordinary Marathon __________________________________
  • NEW! SOPRANO ELENA MOȘUC IN CONVERSATION WITH CASEY CREEL __________________________________
  • NEW! The Future of Opera is Theatre: An Essay by Casey Creel __________________________________
  • NEW! MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • NEW! TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER SALLON __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month