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Rusalka Glyndebourne 2019 Matthews Bardon Roslavets

Popular Singers in this Opera Recording

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Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Opus Arte  
  • Date Published: 2020  
  • Format: DVD & BD
  • Quality Video: 5 Audio:5
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • Video Recording from: AMAZON     #ad   Amazon product Get this Recording

Rusalka (pronounced [ˈrusalka] (listen)), Op. 114, is an opera (‘lyric fairy tale’) by Antonín Dvořák. The Czech libretto was written by the poet Jaroslav Kvapil (1868–1950) based on the fairy tales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová. A rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology, usually inhabiting a lake or river. Rusalka was the ninth opera Dvořák composed. It is one of the most successful Czech operas, and represents a cornerstone of the repertoire of Czech opera houses.

For many years unfamiliarity with Dvořák’s operas outside the Czech lands helped reinforce a perception that composition of operas was a marginal activity, and that despite the beauty of its melodies and orchestral timbres Rusalka was not a central part of his output or of international lyric theatre. In recent years it has been performed more regularly by major opera companies. In the five seasons from 2008 to 2013 it was performed by opera companies worldwide far more than all of Dvořák’s other operas combined.

The most popular excerpt from Rusalka is the soprano aria, the “Song to the Moon” (“Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém”) for the title character in act 1, which is often performed in concert and recorded separately. It has also been arranged for violin and used on film sound tracks.

Act 1
A meadow by the edge of a lake

Three wood sprites tease the water goblin, Vodník, ruler of the lake. Rusalka, the water nymph, tells her father the water goblin that she has fallen in love with a human prince who comes to hunt around the lake, and she wants to become human to embrace him. He tells her it is a bad idea, but nonetheless steers her to a witch, Ježibaba, for assistance. Rusalka sings her “Song to the Moon”, asking it to tell the prince of her love. Ježibaba tells Rusalka that, if she becomes human, she will lose the power of speech and immortality; moreover, if she does not find love with the prince, he will die and she will be eternally damned. Rusalka agrees to the terms and drinks a potion. The prince, hunting a white doe, finds Rusalka, embraces her, and leads her away, as her father and sisters lament.

Act 2
The garden of the prince’s castle

A gamekeeper and his nephew, the kitchen boy, note that the prince is to be married to a mute and nameless bride. They suspect witchcraft and doubt it will last, as the prince is already lavishing attentions on a foreign princess who is a wedding guest. The foreign princess, jealous, curses the couple. The prince rejects Rusalka. Rusalka then goes back to the lake with her father the water goblin. Though she has now won the prince’s affections, the foreign princess is disgusted by the prince’s fickleness and betrayal and she scorns him, telling him to follow his rejected bride to Hell.

Act 3
A meadow by the edge of a lake

Rusalka returns to the lake and laments about her fate. She meets Ježibaba and asks for a solution to her woes. Ježibaba gives her a knife and tells her that she can save herself if she kills the prince with it. Rusalka rejects this, throwing the dagger into the lake. Rusalka becomes a will-o’-the-wisp, a spirit of death living in the depths of the lake, emerging only to lure humans to their deaths. The gamekeeper and the kitchen boy are worried about the deteriorating condition of the prince, and comes to the lake in order to get rid of Rusalka. They meet Ježibaba and lash out on Rusalka’s betrayal, but are rebutted by the water goblin, who says that it was actually the prince that betrayed Rusalka. The wood sprites mourn Rusalka’s plight. The prince, searching for his white doe, comes to the lake, senses Rusalka, and calls for her. Rusalka appears and is now able to speak to him. He asks her to kiss him, even knowing her kiss means death. They kiss and he dies; and the water goblin comments that all sacrifices are futile. In her final song, Rusalka tells the prince, “For your love, for that beauty of yours, for your inconstant human passion, for everything by which my fate is cursed, human soul, God have mercy on you!”
from wikipedia

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