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L’amour des trois oranges

Sergey Prokofiev

Have you heard the one about the hypochondriac prince falling in love with three ... oranges?

The National Theatre
Modern adaptation
Sharp humour
Popular title
Unusual concept

The National Theatre sells tickets for full capacity of its venues, for all auditorium seats, with the exception of the first row.
According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.
Tickets can be purchased on the website of the National Theatre and at the box offices of the National Theatre.

Choose date

    April 2022

    Saturday 23. 4.

    Booking not started yet

    Modern adaptation
    Sharp humour
    Popular title

    Wednesday 27. 4.

    Booking not started yet

    Modern adaptation
    Sharp humour
    Popular title

    Basic information


    The National Theatre

    Approximate running time

    2 hours 20 minutes, 1 intermission 20 minutes


    In French, subtitles in Czech, English


    May 16, 2019

    The old Italian fairy tale about a prince who goes out into the world so as to seek three mysterious oranges and after overcoming numerous life-threatening obstacles finds in one of them his princess. The fable’s teeming with wild fantasy might have been the reason why it has so attracted those who primarily treasure playfulness, joy and wit in theatre. The Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi, who seasoned it with bizarre commedia dell’arte elements; the Russian avant-garde stage director Vsevolod Meyerhold, who adapted the original play for modern theatre; the composer Sergey Prokofiev, who made from it a zany and moving opera; and the director and mime artist Radim Vizváry, who has created the current production. Yet another musical fairy tale for the whole family!


    • 2021-2022


    Stage direction and Movement collaboration
    Radim Vizváry
    Lighting design
    Karel Šimek
    Chorus master
    Jan Bubák
    Ondřej Hučín


    National Theatre Chorus
    National Theatre Orchestra

    Losers Cirque Company

    The Italian playwright, satirist and mystifier Count Carlo Gozzi (1720–1806) inadvertently gave rise to a peculiar moment in the history of 20th-century opera: while in 1920 Giacomo Puccini began recasting Gozzi’s fairy-tale-based play Turandot into his final opera that, despite its excesses, was still written in the spirit of good old Romanticism, another opera based on a scenario penned by Gozzi – L’amour des trois oranges was awaiting its premiere. Sergey Prokofiev conceived the piece as sheer burlesque, traducing everything “heart-felt” and “seriously meant”. In 2019, when the National Theatre in Prague staged its modern-time premiere of L’amour des trois oranges, one hundred years had gone by since the opera’s coming into being. How had it come to pass that one of Prokofiev’s best-known and most acclaimed works, an opera abounding with “jest, irony, satire, as well as profound ideas”, manifesting pure and eternal joy at dallying with human imagination and seeking “sense” and “nonsense”, had, with a single exception, been overlooked by Czech theatres for a full century?

    Prokofiev wrote L’amour des trois oranges in the wake of his emigrating from the Bolshevik-ruled Russia to the USA as a sui generis highly cosmopolitan work: based on an Italian play, in a Russian adaptation, set to a French libretto, for an American audience. Gozzi had created his original, predominantly prosaic play L'amore delle tre melarance as a crazy fable in the commedia dell’arte style, with the aim to ridicule his competitors Goldoni and Chiari. Its Dada vein and the playful story so impressed the Russian avant-garde artist Vsevolod Meyerhold that in 1914 he named after Gozzi’s comedy his own magazine, in whose very first issue he published the play’s modern adaptation. Prokofiev happened to have the text in the USA, and since an opera set to a Russian text was out of the question, he opted for a French libretto, which he based on Vsevolod Meyerhold’s translation. No less intricate and quaint than the genesis of Prokofiev’s opera is the opera’s story, depicting as it does a hypochondriac, orange-loving prince.


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    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    From October 1, 2021, we start selling tickets for the performances until the end of March 2022. Advance sale of tickets for all performances (Ballet, Drama, Laterna magika and Opera) is on sale for 6 months in advance.

    When purchasing online, we will send you an E-ticket by e-mail. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.

    Parking at the National Theater

    While visiting The National Theatre and the New Stage You can use nearby secure car parks:
    Kotva department store (Revoluční 1/655, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh.
    Palladium department store (Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh, or to the Powder Gate through Celetná street to Ovocný trh.

    From the beginning of April 2020, the underground car park is closed due to reconstruction. The length of the reconstruction is estimated at a year and a half.


    What to wear?

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