The Fiery Angel (opera)

The Fiery Angel (Opera)

The Fiery Angel (opera)

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The Fiery Angel (Russian: Огненный ангелOgnenny angel in transliteration) (Op 37) is an opera in five acts by Sergei Prokofiev to a Russian libretto by the composer, based on the novel The Fiery Angel (1908) by Valery Bryusov.

Composition history

Prokofiev encountered Bryusov's novel during his first visit to the United States, (which was around 1918) and he soon (1919) began sketches for an opera. In 1921, the work was well under way. In March 1922, Prokofiev moved to the town of Ettal in Bavaria, Germany, where he worked on the opera. A piano score was completed a couple of years later, but no orchestration had been worked on. In 1926 Bruno Walter accepted the work for the Städtische Oper. The opera was completed in August 1927, too late for the season. Walter cancelled the production. That year Sergei Koussevitzky conducted part of the second act, but the reception was poor.

In 1930, during Prokofiev's new tour of America Giulio Gatti-Casazza of the Metropolitan Opera suggested staging Fiery Angel, but this did not go ahead.

In all, Prokofiev had great trouble staging this opera. Numerous attempts to do so failed. Various reasons have been suggested for each different case, such as Prokofiev allegedly failing to meet deadlines, because the work's peculiar nature estranged people, poor visual action.

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