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  • November
Opera
10 October / Sun 19:00–21:30
The Love for Three Oranges
S. Prokofiev


Edition by Philipp Grigorian and Ilya Kukharenko
2021

SYNOPSIS

Characters:

King of Clubs, scientist, head of the top-secret scientific-research institute
The Prince, his masterpiece, laboratory project
Princess Clarice, deputy director of the institute
Leandro, head of Supply department
Truffaldino, production engineer, captain of KVN (Club of Funny and Inventive) team
Panralone, talented scientist, right-hand man of King of Clubs
Magician Tchelio and Fata Morgana, legendary couple of outstanding scientists, currently retired. Relatives of the Head of the institute
Ninette, young scientist, specialist in biotechnologies
Nicolette and Linette, employees of the institute Smeraldina, secretary of the director’s office
Farfarello, engineer in computer science
Herald
Master of Ceremonies
Eccentrics, Doctors, Little Demons, Lab assistants, PhD students, employees of the institute
Advocates of Tragedy, Comedy, Lyric Drama, and Farce, special guests invited for the presentation of the experimental project — military people, journalists, members of scientific community
Freaks, Drunkards, Gluttons, members of KVN (Club of Funny and Inventive) team

Action takes place in the imaginary state in the mid-last century, in a top-secret scientific-research institute


ACT I

The guests of the institute, including journalists, the military, and representatives of the scientific community, are presented the final stage of the sensational experiment. The head of the institute (the King) feels very optimistic about it, but the experiment fails. Fragments of an artificially created creature do not coalesce into a single whole. It starts the scandal. Guests argue about the nature of the failure until they are asked to temporarily leave the laboratory.

In despair, the head of the institute listens to Pantalone and his staff. Tchelio and Morgana appear and, for their part, try to understand the nature of the error. They remind the King of the neuro-physiological possibilities of laughter. Pantalone is inspired by this idea and tries to involve Truffaldino in the experiment. The King reluctantly agrees and asks for organizational help from Leandro. Leandro resists the assignment for all it’s worth, but the King insists.

At their academic dacha, Tchelio and Morgana argue heatedly about the course of the experiment, but Morgana’s arguments are more convincing. Meanwhile, in the laboratory, the King also discovers Morgana’s right, while rechecking the formulas. Pantalone and Leandro pass the time playing cards — the “fool.” Lab assistants are watching.

Clarice, dreaming of becoming the head of the institute, chastises Leandro for inefficiency. He must by any means interfere with the success of project “Prince.” For this, he secretly runs the system with “dead knowledge.” In return, Clarice promises Leandro marriage and promotion. Leandro is not against these prospects, but he is also attracted to the beautiful secretary Smeraldina. Clarice learns of their relationship and wants revenge. However, Smeraldina skillfully turns from a rival into an ally. She acts as a secret messenger of Morgana, who, in a strange way, decided to play on the side of the conspirators.

Truffaldino, who has received a promotion and admission to the main object of the experiment, enters the laboratory and tries to deal with the tasks assigned to him. The neurophysiologist Ninette is horrified by his arrogance and incompetence. However, it is Truffaldino who discovers Leandro’s sabotage. Ninette is confused and tries to stop further manipulations, but Tchelio calms her down and takes her away. Truffaldino is ready for the new “laughing” stage of the experiment.

The guests are gathering in showroom again and the Prince is tested with laughter. All the jokes offered by Truffaldino do not lead to the desired results. Then, Morgana, who is in the same room in an unrecognizable guise, takes the initiative into her own hands. Her hypothesis turns out to be correct, and all parts of the artificially created creature, code-named “Prince,” grow together under the influence of laughter. The management, staff and guests of the institute are ready to celebrate the victory, but Morgana insists that the Prince’s tests are not over yet and he will take a journey through an artificially constructed reality. There, the Prince will be asked to independently find answers to the most fateful questions. Clarice and Leandro are amazed at the Morgana’s “betrayal,” but not yet defeated.

ACT II

The artificially constructed reality system is malfunctioning and needs tuning. Tchelio calls the cybernetics specialist Farfarello from the control room. He reluctantly reports, referring to the fact that Morgana now has all the reins and gives orders.

The Prince walks through the illusory desert in search of the mysterious Three Oranges. Truffaldino and Tchelio are watching and assisting his journey. Tchelio tries to warn the Prince about the pitfalls and dangers of this adventure, but can’t convince him to stop his campaign. Truffaldino receives a magic bow from Tchelio, which can help to calm down the terrible Cook in the Creonte’s castle.

Cook is one of the incarnations of Tchelio in the space of artificial reality. As to the oranges from her pantry, they are the portal to the subconscious of the Prince himself.

Manipulating the bow, Truffaldino and the Prince steal oranges. Yet, now the Prince wants to understand the meaning of the phrase: “Fall in love with three oranges!” In his quest to understand the secret nature of his desires, he begins to acquire the ability to change the artificial reality. His mind visualizes three consecutive guesses.

His first and second hypotheses turn out to be unviable, and the third is almost the exact answer to the questions posed by Morgana. All the present employees of the institute are surprised to see how the Prince’s consciousness forms a quite recognizable colleague from the institute as a vague object of desire. Only Morgana is not completely satisfied with this impressive result. She replaces the image of the beloved, created by the Prince, with another, more attractive one.

This demarche of Morgana begins to annoy even Tchelio, who enters into a temperamental argument with her. And this time, he turns out to be the winner, not without the help of laboratory assistants.

The head of the institute and invited guests come to see the finale of this stage of the experiment. Despite the pressure, the Prince doesn’t agree to the substitution and continues to insist on his version of happiness. Leandro's nerves give up, and he breaks the installation, but this can no longer interfere with the happy ending. Clarice, Leandro and Smeraldina will be fired and lovers will find their happiness at a cozy academic dacha.

Age category: 12+
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Number of intermissions: 1
directors
Musical Director and Conductor: Artyom Abashev
Stage director: Philipp Grigorian
Production Designer: Philipp Grigorian
Costume Designer: Vlada Pomirkovanaya
Lighting Designer: Sergey Vasiliev
Choirmaster Director: Evgeny Vorobyov
Choreographer: Anna Abalikhina
Dramaturg: Ilya Kukharenko
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