Lyric fairy tale in three acts
Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil
in Czech language with English and German surtitles
In this magical forest, the longing for transformation pulls from both sides - with occasionally radical consequences: The mermaid Rusalka longs to become human in order to be able to love the prince in the light of day. For this however, she must give up the form of her body and her voice. The prince, however, who could have everything his heart desires in the human world, seems to have been guided to Rusalka's mysterious pond in the middle of the night by an inner need for something specific. Many versions of this story (H.C. Andersen, Melusine, Disney's Arielle amongst others) have been interpreted by queer readings as a portrait of living a secretive life and the pain that comes with it. Following this line of thinking, director Bastian Kraft places drag and burlesque performers alongside the hybrid forest and water creatures that tell of parallel worlds at night in Antonín Dvořák's spectral yet beautiful opera Rusalka. Through their imaginative and fluid performance of gender, which speaks of freedom, they counteract a world thoroughly obsessed with fixed role models. In Rusalka's case, however, the trenches of being different cannot be bridged without a voice (and without a common language of desire): A foreign princess acts as the long arm of the norm and finally poisons the love between prince and mermaid turned human. In an empathetic examination of the permeability of boundaries and the chances of transformation, Bastian Kraft explores in his operatic debut how a world could be in which difference no longer means incompatibility. The musical direction is in the hands of the Ukrainian star conductor Oksana Lyniv.
1901 in Prague
Premiere of this production
4. June 2022
from grade 8
There will be an introduction 45 minutes before the performance at foyer I. floor.