Dvořák's Rusalka returns

CZECH Romantic opera has always had a specific place in Slovak opera theatres' repertoires. One of the most significant Czech works, Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka, has been part of the Slovak National Theatre's opera stage almost continuously since the theatre's founding in 1920.

THIS LATEST production of Rusalka tells a story of today.
photo: Courtesy of SND

CZECH Romantic opera has always had a specific place in Slovak opera theatres' repertoires. One of the most significant Czech works, Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka, has been part of the Slovak National Theatre's opera stage almost continuously since the theatre's founding in 1920.

Now, an unconventional team from Prague, led by director Jiří Nekvasil, gets together with Slovak colleagues to put on the popular story. The premiere of this year's production of the popular fairies-meet-people tale is March 18 and 19.

The opera's story, written by Jaroslav Kvapil, teaches that once a human being interferes with the mythical world there is no way to preserve it. The Prague-Bratislava production team takes this message and directs it at a modern audience.

The cast includes the best the Slovak national opera house can offer. Most of the singers have participated in several previous productions of this opera. This may prove to be both a help and a hindrance for the new, modern-day production.

The classical version of the opera might still strongly resonate in the minds of the audience, making them critical of this production's contemporary viewpoint. The creators hope, though, that it will be as successful as productions of the past.

"We tell a story for today," said Jaroslav Kyzlink, the opera's conductor. "For those unburdened by classical Rusalka versions, it might be an interesting experience."


By Zuzana Habšudová

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