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Evening of one-act operas: Sergey Prokofiev "Maddalena", Maurice Ravel "L`heure espagnole"

Cast to be announced

Maddalena is an opera in one act by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, who also wrote the libretto based on a play of the same name by Magda Gustavovna Lieven-Orlov (under the pen name Baron Lieven). That play was in turn based on Oscar Wilde's play A Florentine Tragedy.

Although Prokofiev had already written four operas (the earliest being The Giant which he composed at the age of eight and was written down by the composer's mother), Maddalena is the first of his works in this genre to which he gave an opus number (op. 13). The opera was written in the summer of 1911, while Prokofiev was still a student at Saint Petersburg Conservatory and abandoned with only one of its four scenes orchestrated. The plot centres on a torrid love triangle in Venice in the fifteenth century. Prokofiev wrote in his autobiography that 'the action abounded in conflicts, love, treachery and murder' but added that 'Baron Lieven' was 'more charming in appearance than talented in dramaturgy'. It was to wait 70 years for its premiere.

L'heure espagnole is a French one-act opera from 1911, described as a comédie musicale, with music by Maurice Ravel to a French libretto by Franc-Nohain, based on Franc-Nohain's 1904 play ('comédie-bouffe') of the same name. The opera, set in Spain in the 18th century, is about a clockmaker whose unfaithful wife attempts to make love to several different men while he is away, leading to them hiding in, and eventually getting stuck in, her husband's clocks. The title can be translated literally as "The Spanish Hour", but the word "heure" more importantly means "time" – "Spanish Time", with the connotation "How They Keep Time in Spain".

The original play had first been performed at the Théâtre de l'Odéon on 28 October 1904. Ravel began working on the music as early as 1907, and the opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique on 19 May 1911.

Main Stage 1 Teatralnaya ploschad (1 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia
New Stage Bol'shaya Dmitrovka Street, 4/2, Moscow, Russia
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