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Music Opera

Three Loves for Three Oranges

Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev

edited by Dassia N. Posner & Kevin Bartig

with Maria De Simone

contributions by Caryl Emerson, Alberto Beniscelli, Giulietta Bazoli, Domenico Pietropaolo, Ted Emery, Natalya Baldyga, Raissa Raskina, Vadim Shcherbakov, Laurence Senelick, Julia Galanina, Inna Naroditskaya, Natalia Savkina, Simon A. Morrison & John E. Bowlt

Indiana University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Opera, Individual Composer & Musician, Russian & Former Soviet Union
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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In 1921, Sergei Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges—one of the earliest, most famous examples of modernist opera—premiered in Chicago. Prokofiev's source was a 1913 theatrical divertissement by Vsevolod Meyerhold, who, in turn, took inspiration from Carlo Gozzi's 1761 commedia dell'arteinfused theatrical fairy tale. Only by examining these whimsical, provocative works together can we understand the full significance of their intertwined lineage.

With contributions from 17 distinguished scholars in theater, art history, Italian, Slavic studies, and musicology, Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev illuminates the historical development of Modernism in the arts, the ways in which commedia dell'arte's self-referential and improvisatory elements have inspired theater and music innovations, and how polemical playfulness informs creation.
A resource for scholars and theater lovers alike, this collection of essays, paired with new translations of Love for Three Oranges, charts the transformations and transpositions that this fantastical tale underwent to provoke theatrical revolutions that still reverberate today.

About the authors

Contributor Notes


Dassia N. Posner is Associate Professor of Theatre and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University. Her books include The Director's Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde and The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance.

Kevin Bartig is Professor of Musicology at Michigan State University. His books include Composing for the Red Screen: Prokofiev and Soviet Film and Sergei Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky.

Maria De Simone is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama (IPTD) program at Northwestern University. Maria also holds an MA from Ca' Foscari University of Venice, where she was first introduced to 18th-century Venetian theatrical practices.

Other titles by Kevin Bartig