Lyric fairy tale in three acts “Rusalka” by Antonín Dvořák is available for watching on digital stage until 4th of April, after which it will be included in OperaVision’s program.
The stage premiere of Antonín Dvořák’s touching opera was stopped by the second lockdown in November. Srba Dinić (musical director) and the director Dirk Schmeding with their teams, were able to complete the rehearsal work with the singing ensemble and an orchestra that was reduced due to hygiene regulations.
The title role of Rusalka is played by a phenomenal Julie Adams, who was booked for the New York MET, but has become free for Braunschweig due to the complete break-off of the season there.
Rusalka was first performed in Prague on 31 March 1901, with Růžena Maturová as the first Rusalka. It became an enormous success in Czech lands, and soon gained success also abroad. Today Rusalka is one of the twenty most performed operas.
The libretto is inspired by the Czech version of the Central European folktale, one we also know as Undine (1811) by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué or The Little Mermaid (1837) by Hans Christian Andersen. The original story is perfectly translated into a musical score full of color and magic where it is possible to perceive a Wagnerian influence, especially in the river currents of Der Ring des Nibelungen. There are also considerable similarities with another wonderful aquatic fable of sacrifice and redemption: Sadko (1898) by Rimski-Kórsakov.
Photo: Thomas M. Jauk