In Sergei Prokofiev’s bizarre comedic opera The Love for Three Oranges, a hypochondriac prince is being slowly poisoned by the king’s treacherous adviser who slips him a steady diet of trashy, melodramatic literature.
When the king attempts to cure his son by making him laugh, a chain of events leads to the prince laughing at the evil sorceress Fata Morgana.
Morgana curses the prince to go on a ridiculous quest and fall in love with some fruit, and from this point forward, things only get stranger.
Prokofiev received a Russian translation of the original 18th-century farce just before leaving Russia for the US, and by the time his ship docked, the fast-working composer had a draft of the libretto! Prompted by the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, Prokofiev extended his American stay, and the opera was premiered in Chicago.