Having fallen in love with the Prince, the water nymph Rusalka wishes to become human in order to be with him forever. The witch Ježibaba demands that Rusalka give up her voice for this transformation, whereupon she leaves her home and family. Arriving in the world of the humans, Rusalka initially enraptures the prince; yet the magical, voiceless creature remains something of a stranger in this new society, and eventually her lover turns away from her – which means death for him and banishment for her. With great dramatic feeling, Dvořák’s music for his fairy-tale opera (which premiered in Prague in 1901) contrasts the world of the ghostly, swirling underwater kingdom with the stiff formalities of the royal court. The international stage director Christof Loy will make his debut at the Semperoper with this allegorical study of the significance of one’s own identity and the meaning of the human soul, illustrated by the transformation of the main character Rusalka from a romantic water nymph to a suffering, loving human who lacks a real home.