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The Sunday Opera: A Prokofiev Double Feature: "The Fiery Angel" and "The Love for Three Oranges"

Two sides of Sergei Prokofiev will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/29 3:00 p.m.) in the form of his dramatic tragedy “The Fiery Angel” and his much loved comedy “The Love for Three Oranges.”  In a dramatic score that is said to be a perfect embodiment of Prokofiev’s brooding and dark sarcasm, “The Fiery Angel” follows Renata, a devout woman, as she searches for her missing love, an angel with whom she has been in love since she was a child. 

Her travels end tragically for her and those around her and with Renata being burned at the stake after being accused of demonic possession.  The cast in this 1991 recording conducted by Neeme Jarvi includes Siegried Lorenz, Nadine Secunde, Kurt Moll, and Bryn Terfel.  Host Michael Kownacky will lighten the atmosphere with “The Love for Three Oranges” which was based on a fairy tale by Giambattista Basile and focuses on the trials of a prince who is cursed for laughing at the misfortunes of a witch.  The curse results in his falling in love with three oranges.  A story with disguises, counterplots, and treachery, eventually ends with a happy marriage and the wicked being punished, if only a little.  Our cast from 2005 is conducted by Richard Hickox and includes John MacMaster, Deborah Humble, William Ferguson, and Elizabeth Whitehouse.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.