This noise is giving me a headache...,
This review is from: Prokofiev: Trois Oranges [DVD]  (DVD)
...Actually, that's a line from the libretto but, perhaps Prokofiev was offering a hostage to fortune. The only other production I have seen of this opera was the one done in 1994 at Aix-en-Provence. It was in Russian with no subtitles and very surrealistic. This version from Paris is comparatively straightforward. The Commedia dell'Arte characters tell a simple story and the production is always a pleasure to look at with attractive costumes and sets. I particularly liked the clownlike male chorus that is continuously on stage, reacting to and commenting on the action. Prokofiev's music did not do much for me although it was composed during his neoclassical period so it is tuneful without being memorable, sounding more balletic than operatic.
Solo honours go mainly to the female singers, possibly because they look so sensational. I liked the flame-haired Béatrice Uria-Monzon as Fata Morgana. Hannnah Esther Minatillo, as Clarice, wears a slinky green gown with matching green hair; I was not so keen on the green eyelashes though. Lucia Cirillo is charming as the slave Sméraldina although it was probably an error of judgement to have her play the part as a racial stereotype.