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on March 31, 2024
This is the page for the performance on March 31, 2024.
Music Antonín Dvořák Text Jaroslaw Kvapil
→ Lyrisches Märchen in drei Akten

Cast 31.03.2024

Conductor Tomáš Hanus
Production Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Stage Design Rolf Glittenberg
Costume Design Marianne Glittenberg
Lighting Design Jürgen Hoffmann
Choreography Lukas Gaudernak
Der Prinz Pavel Černoch
Die fremde Fürstin Eliška Weissová
Der Wassermann Adam Palka
Rusalka Corinne Winters
Jezibaba Okka von der Damerau
Heger Stefan Astakhov
Küchenjunge Margaret Plummer
1. Elfe Florina Ilie
2. Elfe Juliette Mars
3. Elfe Daria Sushkova
Jäger Nikita Ivasechko



The story of a mermaid who falls in love with a human, abandons her life in the sea and fails in the world has been taken up by many a Europe's fairy tales and legends. One need only think of Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Little Mermaid, which enjoys enduring popularity to this day. Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka was also inspired by Andersen, but the opera, which premiered in 1901, also dealt with numerous other themes. His "lyrical fairy tale" expressed the pressing issues of the turn of the century, which Sigmund Freud summarized under the catchphrase of unease in culture. Civilization and nature, fears and longings, power relations and gender definitions collide in a psychologically exaggerated way. Rusalka's loss of language clearly reflects her fears of identification, exclusion and existence. Director Sven-Eric Bechtolf reflects these emotional and mental states in a surreal, unreal and oppressive world. The story of the renegade mermaid is told in haunting images between a snowy desert and barren woodland.

Program booklet (2,50€)



Unlike the mischievous wood nymphs, the water nymph Rusalka does not tease the awakening Water Goblin, but confesses to him her desire to acquire a human form and a human soul in order to fulfil her love for a Prince whom she has often observed by the lake. Although the Water Goblin warns Rusalka, he advises her to seek Ježibaba’s assistance. The latter appears and drives a hard bargain with the impassioned nymph: Rusalka will be able to adopt the human form, but will lose the power of speech. However, if she is nevertheless un- able to win the Prince’s unfailing love, only the death of her lover will enable her to return to the kingdom of nymphs. Since Rusalka agrees, she is transformed into a human being, and is able to win the love of the Prince when he appears by the lake. However, the planned wedding of the couple is prevented by a mysterious and seductive Princess who unexpectedly appears on the scene, and whom the Prince finds irresistibly attractive. When the Prince makes a declaration of love to the Princess and dismisses his planned wedding to Rusalka as a mere escapade, Rusalka makes one last desperate attempt to win him back, but is coldly rejected. The Water Goblin puts a curse on the Prince before pulling Rusalka back into his underwater realm. A short time later, Ježibaba offers the lonely and lamenting Rusalka a means of returning to the kingdom of nymphs forever. She hands Rusalka a dagger with which to murder her unfaithful lover. But Rusalka throws the dagger into the lake. Filled with remorse, the Prince comes down to the lake: Rusalka appears to him as a will-o’-the-wisp. He begs her to free him of his guilt. Though Rusalka warns him that her embrace will cost him his life, he insists on a final kiss. He dies in her arms, and Rusalka sinks back into the lake.


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