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The Prince was beautifully sung by the Polish tenor Piotr Beczala. His lyric voice lends itself well to this role. He was totally convincing at the end of the opera when he asks Rusalka for a kiss, even after she's told him he'll die if he touches her. While American soprano Emily Magee was enticing and seductive as The Foreign Princess, she displayed a nice sense of asperity with her somewhat slow Princely host.

Piotr Beczala as The Prince and Camilla Nylund in the title role of Dvorák's 'Rusalka', with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz-Welser Möst. Photo © 2008 Roger Mastroianni
Piotr Beczala as The Prince and Camilla Nylund in the title role of Dvorák's 'Rusalka', with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz-Welser Möst. Photo © 2008 Roger Mastroianni

American baritone Christopher Feigum was amusing -- and stalwart -- in his two smaller roles as the Prince's Gamekeeper and Huntsman. Eva Liebau, a petite soprano from Austria, was charming as the young Turnspit, who nevertheless had the good sense to stay out of Jezibaba's way. The three wood nymphs (all making their American débuts) were Austrian sopranos Anna Prohaska and Stefanie Atanasov, along with Czech-born mezzo Hannah Esther Minutillo.

The orchestra was superb, especially the principal winds and harp in their many solos. The strings and brass sounded lush. It was a truly special performance.

Copyright © 12 June 2008 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA

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PRAGUE STATE OPERA'S 'RUSALKA'

'RUSALKA' AT STOWE OPERA

THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA JOINS THE HALL OF FAME

CAMILLA NYLUND IN RUED LANGGAARD'S 'ANTIKRIST'

CAMILLA NYLUND SINGS MUSIC BY KILPINEN

THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller