Music by Antonín Dvořák; Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil • *Rescheduled for the 2021-2022 season!* October 9, 12, 15, 17, 2021
Rusalka is the Czech version of the popular fairy tale The Little Mermaid. While it has many similarities to the familiar Disney® movie, they are not exactly the same. First of all, her name is not Ariel, it’s Rusalka. Secondly, Rusalka is not a mermaid per se, but a water sprite, also called a water nymph. However, like the Little Mermaid, Rusalka falls in love with a human Prince. She has a witch turn her into a human in exchange for her voice. Rusalka must win and keep the Prince’s love, or else there will be disastrous consequences for them both.
Will a jealous Princess ruin Rusalka’s plan? Will Rusalka’s father be able to bail her out if things go awry? Will true love triumph?
Rusalka premiered in 1901 and has become one of the most beloved lyric fairy tales of all time. We are proud to be producing Rusalka for the first time in our 82-year history.
Hao Jiang Tian: Vodnik, the water goblin
TBA: The Prince
Julianna di Giacomo: Foreign Princess
The Artistic Team
Conductor - Antony Walker
Stage Director - Kristine McIntyre
Original Production & Staging by Eric Simonson
Set Designer - Erhard Rom
Costume Designer - Karin Kopischke
Projection Designer - Wendall Harrington
Lighting Designer - Marcus Dilliard
Wig and Make-up Designer - James Geier
Stage Manager - TBA
Asst Conductor - Glenn Lewis
Chorus Master - Mark Trawka
Associate Coach/Pianist - James Lesniak
Asst Stage Director - Kaley Karis Smith*
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
Listen to Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn give a brief synopsis of Rusalka featuring excerpts from this 1998 Decca Recording with Sir Charles Mackerras conducting the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Click play below or download these excerpts for an offline treat!
- “Overture" - performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
- “Mesicku Na Nebi Hlubokem” - sung by Renee Fleming as Rusalka
- “Tvoje Moudrost Vsechno Tusi” - sung by Dolora Zajick as Ježibaba
- “Ustante V Lovu, Na Hrad Vratte Se” - sung by Ben Heppner as the Prince
- “Jiz Tyden Dlis Po Boku” - sung by Ben Heppner as the Prince
- “Cely Svet Neda Ti, Neda” - sung by Franz Hawlata as Vodník
- “Vidi Je, Vidis? Jsou Tu Zas” - sung by Ben Heppner as the Prince and Eva Urbanová as the Foreign Princess
- “Necitelna Vodni Moci” - sung by Renee Fleming as Rusalka
- “Bila Moje Lani!” - sung by Ben Heppner as the Prince
- “Libej Mne, Libej, Mir Mi Prej!” - sung by Renee Fleming as Rusalka
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Run time: Tentatively 2 hours, 30 mins - 3 hours, 30 mins (to be confirmed)
- Special effects notice:
- Understand Every Word: Rusalka is sung in Czech, but has English supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Download the Program Book (TBA)
- Download the Ruslaka study guide (TBA)
- Parking Downtown: get real-time parking availability
- Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
- Audio Description available at The Benedum Center
- Braille Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Large-Print Programs available at The Benedum Center