Antonin Dvorak – Rusalka
The Royal Opera House’s article says “Rusalka is an opera about singing. Or rather, what happens when you cannot sing”. It echoes the story of The Little Mermaid. I loved Disney’s ‘Ariel (The Little Mermaid)’ as a child. I enjoy singing the aria ‘Song to the Moon’ even more. This aria comes at the start of the story as Rusalka, a water nymph, sings to the moon. It is a plea to the moon to reveal her love to the Prince. Rusalka gives up her voice to be united with the Prince, but he is put off because she cannot say a word and he accepts the hand of a Foreign Princess. The witch Jezibaba’s curse is for Rusalka to live in the depths of the lake forever.
I sing this aria in Czech which makes it even more beautiful as I have to demonstrate the intense feeling to my English speaking audiences. Classical Music says “Rusalka is the most popular Czech opera in circulation.
Classic fm writes “The song is based on the folk tale of Undine, and when he wrote Rusalka Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid was already 65 years old”.
I was asked to perform ‘Rusalka’ at the Bowdon Festival in Altrincham at the end of the month, 30th November, so I dusted the score down and lovingly refreshed my knowledge of it. Realising I’d not fully researched it before I thought I’d share my background discovery with you.
Whilst doing my research I came across these great images from the set designer Erhard Rom from the Minnesota Opera Production and I hope that they give you a flavour of the opera and it’s story.
It is in my program this Saturday in Derby and I will be singing it on the 30th November with the Milnrow Brass Band. My favourite group of men The Tideswell Male Voice Choir join me in Bowdon in a Christmas Spectacular.
Finally I could not let you go without listening to one of the Opera greats giving a beautiful rendition of the song ( especially as I have not got it recorded yet ). So here is Renee Fleming
Here is my recording from the concert in Bowdon