Monday, August 23, 2010

A little background information about RUSALKA

Opera Colorado is very excited to be producing the opera Rusalka. As far as we can tell, this will be the very first production of Rusalka in the Rocky Mountain region.

But truth be told, Rusalka is a rarely performed opera anywhere. It was first performed in Prague in 1901, but was rarely seen, even in its own country, for many years.

Gustav Mahler, then head of the Vienna Opera, was a fan of the work, but even with a champion like Mahler, the opera was not performed in Austria until 1924, twenty years after Dvořák’s death.

The first performance of Rusalka in England wasn’t until 1959. The first performance of the opera at New York’s Metropolitan Opera wasn’t until 1993. Singers such as Renee Fleming have been major advocates for the opera. Opera Colorado’s leading lady Kelly Kaduce, who will sing the title role here in Denver, won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions in 1999 by singing “The Song to the Moon” from this opera.

The sets and costumes for Rusalka were originally created by Minnesota Opera in cooperation with Boston Lyric Opera. It debuted in Minnesota in 2008. Minnesota Opera Artistic Director Dale Johnson created this short preview of the opera that gives a great sense of what the opera will look like.

-Rex Fuller, Opera Colorado Director of Marketing

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