Oper

Rusalka

Antonín Dvořák

A lyrical fairy-tale in three acts Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil

Premiere 7. May 2022

Performed in Czech with German and English supertitles

 
Info
  • Starting Time: 7 pm

  • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

  • The advance booking will be announced later

  • Free introductory talk
  • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
    Info
    • Starting Time: 7 pm

    • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

    • The advance booking will be announced later

    • Free introductory talk
    • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

    • Post-Show Discussion following the performance (free admission).
      Info
      • Starting Time: 7 pm

      • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

      • The advance booking will be announced later

      • Free introductory talk
      • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
        Info
        • Starting Time: 7 pm

        • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

        • The advance booking will be announced later

        • Free introductory talk
        • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
          Info
          • Starting Time: 7 pm

          • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

          • The advance booking will be announced later

          • Free introductory talk
          • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
            Info
            • Starting Time: 7 pm

            • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

            • The advance booking will be announced later

            • Free introductory talk
            • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
              Info
              • Starting Time: 7 pm

              • Venue:  Semperoper Dresden

              • The advance booking will be announced later

              • Free introductory talk
              • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

                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 Christoph 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.

                Plot

                Act 1
                The water nymph Rusalka complains to the water gnome of her suffering. She feels trapped in her world and desires nothing more than to be human. She wants to win the Prince’s love, for which she is ready to sacrifice everything. Despite his discouragement, the water gnome decides to help her and sends her to the witch Ježibaba. In return for transforming her into a human woman, Rusalka surrenders her voice to the witch. She bids Rusalka farewell with a warning: she will be mute in the human world and, should her love not find fulfillment, she can only return to the water kingdom if her lover dies, otherwise she will be an outcast forever. In human form, Rusalka meets the Prince, who is immediately captivated by the beautiful stranger and wants to make her his wife. 

                Act 2
                While Rusalka and the Prince are enjoying their happiness, the other members of the court remain suspicious and hostile toward this mute creature because of her difference. A foreign princess also appears at Rusalka and the Prince’s wedding. She senses that the reticence of his mute bride is unsettling the Prince. She mocks him and finally seduces the groom in the presence of his bride. Rusalka, who believed in the kindness and sincerity of her Prince, is aghast, her dream shattered. Caught between two worlds, neither a nymph nor a human woman, she is unable to either live nor die. The foreign princess savors her triumph over Rusalka; the Prince, however, is plagued by a guilty conscience.

                Act 3
                Rusalka laments her fate and, in despair, wishes for death. She goes to see Ježibaba again and asks her for help. But the witch’s advice only deepens her despair: if Rusalka wants to be released from her situation, she has to kill the Prince. In a final encounter, Rusalka and the Prince meet, and for the first time Rusalka is able to speak to him. Knowing that it will cost him his life, he begs Rusalka for a kiss. She fulfills his wish. 

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