NY Metropolitan: Dvorak's RUSALKA, soprano Renee FlemingW.White, Vodnik; Dolora Zajicek, Jezibaba; Eva Urbanova, Princess

Cesky preklad ZDE
April 30, 2004
Originally created for the Vienna State Opera (1901), after its Met premier in 1993, Dvorak's RUSALKA returned back to Met after eleven years, just the night before remembering 100th anniversary of the death of this great Czech composer.

This production selected Renee Fleming for the Rusalka (HERE). Fleming is generally viewed as the world's greatest living soprano. You won't get any argument from these quarters on that assertion: I've been a huge fan since her first “Rusalka” in Houston in the early 1990s, based upon the Kansas City Star.
This season she sang what might become the signature Violetta (in Verdi's “La Traviata”) of our generation in a celebrated production at the Metropolitan Opera.

The Star points out that she's already the Rusalka, and, in fact, her portrayal of that role has inspired renewed interest in that Dvorák opera in America.

“Mesicku na nebi hlubokem, svetlo tve daleko vidi ..."
"Po svete bloudis sirokem, divas se v pribytky lidi."
“Mesicku, postuj chvili, rekni mi kde je muj mily!”
“Rekni mu, stribrny mesicku, me ze jej oblima rame...”
“Zasvit mu do daleka, . . . rekni mu kdo tu nan ceka,
zasvit mu!”
“O mne-li, duse lidska sni,
. . . af se tou, vzpominkou vzbudi:
mesicku nezhasni, nezhasni!”
“Bravo! Bravo!”

She is fast becoming the Countess (“The Marriage of Figaro”) and the Marschallin (“Der Rosenkavalier”). Her excursions into bel canto and French repertoire have further expanded her range and commitment.

As the Foreign Princess returns again Eva Urbanova; she made her Met debut in 1998 as Ortrud in Lohengrin.

Dolora Zajicek as Jezibaba sung the same role in the Rusalka's 1993 Met's production. She has sung almost all of the Verdi dramaric Mezzo-soprano roles.

Antonin Dvorak created Rusalka in his 59th year at the height of his fame, after his return from America. From its first introduction, Rusalka was an enormous success in the Czech land.

This production of Rusalka by the NY Metropolitan Opera (4/30; 5/4/; 5/6) is outstanding in every detail, the scenery, paintings, lighting and space generosity better than ever anywhere before. (I was able to see Rusalka in the Prague's National Opera in June of 1995.)

Josef Schrabal

Friday (4/30) performance review by the AP - HERE
The Dvorák Society - devoted to all Czech and Slovak performers and composers.
Biography of Dvorák - Biography of Antonin Dvorák, provided by Naxos Records.
Dvorák at Classical Music Pages - Online Biography
ReneeFleming.com - Official Site by Decca Records, with links
Connecticut Grand Opera - Renée Fleming for their gala opening on Sept. 28, 2002
Renee-Fleming.com - Unofficial fan site, with schedules and copies
The Beautiful Voice - Yahoo Club devoted to Ms. Fleming's works.

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