Rusalka Read to Roll

We still have tomorrow’s final dress rehearsal to complete but we’re ready to go. Opening night is set for Monday night (3 days from now). What a show it is going to be. It’s nice when things are going so well that you aren’t so nervous as to whether it will come together. This is not to say that we’re over confident. However, with the show having been so thoroughly rehearsed in Salzburg in 2008, much of the edge of having to get a new production up and running is minimal. This is the first time this wonderful opera has been staged at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. I think the patrons are in for a treat. I hope they enjoy my flippers.

This is not a “normal” production of “Rusalka”. These days, is there such a thing (with the exception of the older production at The Metropolitan Opera House)? As mentioned, I was a part of this production from Salzburg 4 years ago. Our soprano Camilla Nylund is also returning for this run (what a glorious voice). The entire cast is top notch and the orchestra, under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is marvelous. The entire rehearsal period has been a joy and I think the results will show come Monday night.

This production is controversial but it does a fine job in uniting the fantasy world of Rusalka, Jezibaba, and Vodnik with the human world of the Prince (excitingly and beautifully sung by Bryan Hymel). The lines are blurred more than perhaps in some productions and the colors are something that really shock the eye. But the production allows for strong characterizations and fine singing. I am having a great time.

The pictures above are from the run in Salzburg but everything is pretty much the same here. I remember that time in Salzburg as well because my second oldest son came along for much of the time period. It was the first time he saw a production evolve. We had a wonderful time in the mountains as well. I think this opera will always be special to me because of the fond memories from Salzburg. Now, that son is getting ready to graduate from High School in just a few months and head off to college next fall. I simply can’t believe it. Wasn’t it just yesterday when we were eating Wiener Schnitzel and Pretzels in Austria?

We have now entered what is perhaps, for me, my favorite time of year. I truly love the season of Lent--the reflective and contemplative time of year in my faith journey. Of course, we should be cognizant of our entire selves throughout the year. But having this special time to focus even more, as we prepare for Easter, is truly cherished. May your Lenten season be blessed and focused.