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RUSALKA, Vienna State Opera, 12 January 2021

Event details

  • Category: Operas
  • Event: RUSALKA
  • Date/Time: 12 January 2021
  • Venue: Vienna State Opera
  • Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien / Vienna (Map)
  • Other Dates: Show alternatives


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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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