Opera North's 'Rusalka',
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
Dvorák's best-known opera, Rusalka, is a product of the same exploration of the world of myths and folk-tales that produced the remarkable group of tone-poems he composed in the late 1890s, beginning with The water goblin. The libretto either draws directly on, or has echoes of, stories such as that of the German Undine and Hans Christian Andersen's The little mermaid. The resulting tale of the water-nymph who yearns to become human so she can marry the prince she has fallen in love with, but pays a heavy price, drew from Dvorák a score teeming with evocative nature-music and passionate vocal writing. Rusalka's Act 1 song to the moon may be the most familiar number, but this is no one-hit wonder.
Olivia Fuchs's production for Opera North (Theatre Royal, Nottingham, UK, 2 July 2010), first staged in 2003, relied less on picturesque detail than on psychological interplay...
Copyright © 8 July 2010