Kristine Opolais stars in her first Met performances of her breakthrough role, the title character in Dvořák’s Rusalka, in a new staging, directed by Mary Zimmerman and conducted by Sir Mark Elder, opening at the Met on 2 February.
The dark love story between a water spirit and a human man, derived in large part from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” will also star Jamie Barton in her role debut as the swamp witch Ježibaba, with Katarina Dalayman in her role debut as the Foreign Princess, Brandon Jovanovich as the Prince, and Eric Owens as Rusalka’s father, the Water Sprite.
The production features sets by Daniel Ostling, costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by T.J. Gerckens, and choreography by Austin McCormick in his Met debut.
The only one of Dvořák’s operas to gain an international following (so far), Rusalka is in many ways a definitive example of late Romanticism—containing folklore, evocations of the natural and the supernatural worlds, and even a poignant interpretation of the idea of a love-death.
The story has a strong national flavor as well as universal appeal, infused by the Romantic supernaturalism of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s novella Undine (previously set as an opera by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Tchaikovsky, and others) and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
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Running time: 3 hours and 40 minutes, two intermissions (approx.)