Rusalka risking it all in the name of love
The music started and the magnificent red curtains of the impressive Salle Garnier opened slowly, inviting the public to the edge of a lake at night, where wood-sprites make fun of the Water-Goblin played by great Russian Bass Alexei Tikhomirov. Wood Sprites are said to have been fairy-like creatures that live in the trees and the woods and delve into mischief. The Water-Goblin’s daughter Rusalka, played by Dutch soprano Barbara Haveman, is a water nymph who confesses she fell in love with a mortal Prince and wants to join the human race. She strikes a terrible bargain with the witch Jezibaba (Ewa Podles, contralto) sacrificing it all and even loosing her wonderful voice, in the name of love. In the end Rusalka is doomed and becomes a demon of death living in the depths of the lake, emerging only to lure humans to their extinction. Her Prince (tenor Maxim Aksenov), dies in the arms of Rusalka after kissing her.
This opera in three acts, composed by Antonin Dvorak and written by the poet Jaroslav Kvapi, whose libretto was inspired in “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen and “Undine” by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque. It is one of the most successful Czech operas that premiered in 1901 at the Czech National Theatre in Prague, remaining in their repertory ever since, with more than 2,000 performances. It is regularly performed worldwide and it is the first time it plays in Monaco. Soprano Barbara Haveman sings beautifully, specially the exquisite lyrics of the “Song of the Moon” in Act 1 aria that is the most popular.
Additional performances scheduled for January 26, 29 and 31. For information visit http://www.opera.mc