Antonin Dvořák’s Rusalka, Op. 114 is an opera in three acts, on a Czech libretto by Jarosvlav Kvapil. The history is based, among other sources, on the fairy tales by Karel Jaromír Erben et Božena Němcová, but the more famous references are surely The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen and Ondine by Friedrich de La Motte-Fouqué. In fact, Rusalka tells the story of a water sprite who falls in love with a human prince, but who will pay dearly for her devouring passion. And to point that out, the first act of the work incorporates some crescendos that reflect Rusalka’s love and hope, while the minor chords dominating the second act portend the approaching tragedy… Between love and death, human limits and supernatural elements, Rusalka contains all the elements of a “sad modern fairy tale”.
Browse recordings of Rusalka, B. 203
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A selection of our live streaming Antonin Dvořák’s Rusalka are available for free to all registered users, and the rest can be unlocked with a subscription. Live video events stream right to your living room from the most famous opera houses, and you can watch our performances streaming on your biggest screens with AirPlay, Chromecast, and our new Roku app. With its arias similar to the folkloristic melodies typical of Czech music, at the time of its creation, Dvořák’s opera Rusalka was perceived as a national work. Composed after the Slavonic dances, Rusalka can be considered as Dvořák’s exploration of national sources of inspiration for his symphonic art by. So come and discover the voice of the composer’s country, put into music by the craftsmanship of Dvořák, on medici.tv, whenever you want, wherever you want!
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Is there anything more important for a mermaid, like Dvořák’s Rusalka, than her own voice? Already present in Homer’s Odyssey, mermaids used their melodious song to bewitch the seamen and drag them down on the seabed… And yet, far removed from this terrible picture, Rusalka sacrifices her voice in order to live with her prince on earth, losing what was most dear and precious to her as a result. Dvořák’s Rusalka is conceived around an internal void, a tension between song and silence, mimicking an incurable wound that exposes the bare skin. But the tale of Rusalka is also a story of inner discovery, an invitation to find the right balance and to love oneself, since romantic love, as well as the tides where Dvořák’s water nymph grew up, follows the moon and keeps changing. In the most famous aria of the opera, Rusalka sings: “Moon, don’t hide, don’t hide!”