This and That

Random bits of my life

Dvořák’s Rusalka

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 24, 2014


Dvořák’s lyric opera, Rusalka, was first performed in 1901. It remains one of the most popular Czech operas. (A rusalka is a water nymph or sprite who lives in a stream.) The heroine of this opera, Rusalka, is a water nymph who falls in love with a human prince and gives up her voice in return for being able to live on land as a mortal. Rusalks is the original Slavic “Little Mermaid,” which was adapted by Hans Christian Anderson. Disney gave the story a happy ending, but since this is opera, everyone dies at the end.


The production was gorgeous and the voices were wonderful. I didn’t want to be too obvious about taking photos (we were sharing the box with a German couple), so most of these photos were taken during curtain calls. The first photo (above) shows the castle where they are preparing for the wedding feast. It was such a stunning set I had to photograph it.


The curtain calls with the red curtain in the background were taken just before the intermission. The opera is three hours long.






I found a video of short segments from this production, uploaded by the Prague State Opera. It’s a pity that the famous “Song to the Moon” is so difficult to hear over the orchestra, but the rest of the excerpts are quite good. It’s a pity that the dance segments were not included, because the wedding dance was  impressive.

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