Yoel L. Arbeitman wrote:
>(1) What was the language in which the commissioned Chicago premiere of
>_Love for Three Oranges_ was given?
It was in French, according to Harlow Robinson's biography "Prokofiev"
(see especially pp. 148 - 151). But it might not be that simple - many
languages were involved.
While Prokofiev was visiting America in 1917 he met the director of the
Chicago Opera, Cleofonte Campanini, who "asked Prokofiev if he had written
any operas. No sooner had Prokofiev described 'The Gambler' than Campanini
wanted to stage it, but the score was back in Russia [...] obtaining it
would be difficult, if not impossible. So they discussed the possibility
of a new commission" and Prkfv described a Russian adaptation of an
eighteenth-century commedia dell'arte fairy tale by the Italian playwright
Carlo Gozzi. Evidently Campanini was happy to use a tale by a fellow
Italian. Prokofiev wrote the libretto himself, Robinson says, and
"Prokofiev set the original Russian text but the Chicago production was
sung in a French translation."
It would be interesting to know what transpired. There were two years of
delays and disputes, precipitated by the death of Campanini in 1919 while
production was first in preparation. So maybe the original plan was not
French or Russian. I was unable to learn any more from Prokofiev's own
biographical texts, at least not the ones so far available in English.
(There are, I believe, translations planned for 1500 pages of Russian
text of Prokofiev's. See http://www.sprkfv.net/diaries/diaries.html)
In summary, Prokofiev's American-premiered opera, based on a Russian
adaptation of an Italian play, was written in Russian and translated
and performed (first) in French.