To Be Premiered: Prokofiev's Opera Composed At Nine

Sergei Prokofiev's first opera, The Giant, will be premiered on April 21 on the smaller stage of Moscow's New Opera theatre on the eve of the 110th birth anniversary of this 20th century music classic. Irina Prokofiev, art director of the Art Assembly society, said that this work was composed in 1900 when Prokofiev was 9 years old. He doubled as a composer and a librettist. For a hundred years the opera was considered lost, and it was only recently that Sergei Sapozhnikov, a Moscow musician, candidate of art, discovered its vocal score and reconstructed it into an orchestral version. The opera, as 100 years ago, will be sung by children. The smallest singer performing the part of a bird is 3.5 years old, and the oldest 15. All performers are members of the children's song theatre Svetofor. The production will be played to recorded music, because children's voices are drowned by a live symphony orchestra. Irina Prokofiev regrets that only 100 spectators - so many are accommodated in the theatre's smaller hall - can attend the premiere and listen to the opera written by 9-year-old Prokofiev. By way of comparison it can be said that Mozart composed his first opera under the supervision of his famed father - teacher and composer Leopold Mozart -- at 11.

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