Antonín Dvořák



The mermaid Rusalka has fallen in love with a human being, a prince, and longs for becoming human and soulful herself. The aquarius answers her pleas under severe conditions: she will loose her voice, and cannot return to her watery realm unless the prince dies. She agrees, they get married - but soon the prince abandons his invariably voiceless wife for a mysterious princess. When he finally searches for her, tormented by remorse, he dies in her deadly embrace.

28 October 2017
19:00 - 22:30
2 intermissions
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Cast | 28.10.2017

Conductor Tomáš Hanus
Director Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Set design Rolf Glittenberg
Costume Design Marianne Glittenberg
Lighting Design Jürgen Hoffmann
Choreography Lukas Gaudernak
Der Prinz Dmytro Popov
Die fremde Fürstin Elena Zhidkova
Der Wassermann Jongmin Park
Rusalka Krassimira Stoyanova
Jezibaba Monika Bohinec


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 unable 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 for ever. 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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