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IU Opera presents 'fantastical farce' "The Love for Three Oranges"

Indiana University Opera Theater will close the first half of its 60th anniversary season with Sergei Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges at the Musical Arts Center. Oranges opened Nov. 14-15; two shows remain, on Nov. 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at the MAC.

Love of Three Oranges
A scene from "The Love for Three Oranges"

In this fantastical farce set in a mythical kingdom long ago, sorceress Fata Morgana puts a curse on a prince, by which he must find and fall in love with three oranges. A witty new translation by returning guest stage director Nicholas Muni -- commissioned by IU for this production -- the opera will be sung in English with English supertitles.

"The plot functions on two levels," said Muni. "There is the fairy tale story itself, and then there is a completely separate, though related, story dealing with the characters in the prologue, each group of whom wants a different kind of story to be told -- a tragedy, a comedy, a farce, a romance. There is sort of an aesthetic battle occurring while the fairy tale is unfolding. So there are a lot of balls in the air that one must keep an eye on and bring to resolution, making it a thrilling piece to be directing."

The Love for Three Oranges is a complex score that is rarely performed, said guest conductor Robert Wood.

"The work showcases Prokofiev's typically spiky rhythms and pungent harmonies but also beautiful lyrical moments in the same vein as his famous ballet Romeo and Juliet," said Wood. "The entire production is really a tour de force, highlighting a large cast of nutty individuals and a large chorus; it is also a real showpiece for IU's fine Philharmonic Orchestra."

Last presented by IU Opera Theater in 2000, the production features sets and costumes by Jacobs Professor C. David Higgins.

Performance Dates

All performances of The Love for Three Oranges will take place at the Musical Arts Center, 101 N. Jordan Ave., at 8 p.m., with Opera Insights at 7 p.m. Remaining performance dates are Nov. 21-22. Tickets range from $15-$35 ($10-$20 for students).

To learn more about the IU Jacobs School of Music, visit

About IU Opera Theater

For six decades, the glory of opera has been celebrated year-round at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, with at least seven productions staged annually in the Musical Arts Center (MAC). The innovative productions of IU Opera Theater, sung by students, have won international critical acclaim. While at IU, these young artists are taught by a faculty widely considered the best in the nation, if not the world, and which Beverly Sills once called "absolutely mind-boggling." For more information about IU Opera and Ballet Theater performances and to order tickets, visit