Press release

Premiere of »Rusalka« on 7 May 2022

Premierenmotiv zu »Rusalka«, Foto: Thomas Ruff © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

Dresden, 6 May 2022. On Saturday, 7 May 2022, the curtain will rise at the Semperoper for Christof Loy’s staging of »Rusalka«, a co-production with the Teatro Real Madrid, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia. Dresden’s new »Rusalka« replaces the production by Stefan Herheim, which has been in the Semperoper repertoire since its premiere in 2010. 

The premiere evening will see the much sought-after and multi award-winning opera and theatre director Christof Loy present his first production for the Semperoper.  Another person making their local debut will be Joana Mallwitz, the current music director of Nuremberg State Theatre and the designated artistic director and chief conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin for the 2023/24 season, who ascends the rostrum of the Staatskapelle Dresden for the first time. The stage design is the work of the celebrated stage and costume designer Johannes Leiacker, who has received the Rudi Häußler Prize of the Semperoper Foundation in recognition of his international achievements and his close ties to Dresden’s opera house. 

Dvořák’s lyrical fairy-tale opera about the love of a water sprite for a prince, which premiered at Prague’s National Theatre in 1901, is freed by Christof Loy of any lingering romanticism. Uncovering the erotic undercurrents, he places the tragic events in a theatrical setting in which the ballet dancer Rusalka sacrifices herself to male desire. In Loy’s interpretation, the narrative focuses on the emotional world of a young woman who tries to break free from strict familial obligations to choose her own path through life. The object of her desire is here not a fairy-tale prince but a man driven by impulse, who finally betrays Rusalka and atones for this act with death. 

The opera »Rusalka«, with its great range of musical timbre and shading, may rightly be considered Dvořák’s greatest operatic success, and features the composer’s typically brilliant and multi-faceted instrumentation. The title role will be sung by Olesya Golovneva, joined by Pavel Černoch – also making his Semperoper debut – as the ungrateful lover. They are supported by Christa Mayer, Elena Guseva, Alexandros Stavrakakis and Sebastian Wartig, who will all bring musical finesse and great understanding to their roles. 
»Rusalka« Antonín Dvořák
Staged by Christof Loy.
With Olesya Golovneva, Elena Guseva, Christa Mayer, Pavel Černoch, Alexandros Stavrakakis and Sebastian Wartig.
The Staatskapelle Dresden will be conducted by Joana Mallwitz. 
Also on stage: the State Opera Chorus.
Premiere at 7 pm on Saturday, 7 May 2022.
Additional performances on 10, 14 & 20 May 2022 as well as in June, November and December 2022.

A co-production with the Teatro Real Madrid, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia.
All performances are made possible by Medizinisches Labor Ostsachsen MVZ GbR, the health partner of the Saxon State Theatres.

Tickets can be purchased online or from the Schinkelwache box office on Theaterplatz (T +49 (0)351 4911 705). For more details, check out our website:

Please address any requests for review tickets (stating the editorial assignment and the likely publication dates) to:


Photo:  Premiere poster 2021/22 © Semperoper Dresden/photo: Thomas Ruff ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021