Dvorak's Rusalka

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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Piotr Beczala as the Prince and Renée Fleming in the title role of Dvořák's 'Rusalka.' Piotr Beczala as the Prince and Renée Fleming in the title role of Dvořák's "Rusalka." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

This Saturday at 1 pm, Renee Fleming, just back from her national anthem performance at the 2014 Super Bowl, stars as the lead character in the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Rusalka

Rusalka is something of a signature role for Fleming. In 1988 she debuted on the Met stage with "Song to the Moon" at the National Council Auditions Winners Concert. In this production Fleming will be accompanied by an earnest Piotr Beczala as the dashing Prince.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, taking time off from the Philadelphia Orchestra, promises to bring dynamism to the score. A recent New York Times review said: "Each act had its own arc and mood, yet he located the ominous door-knock rhythm from the introduction constantly, even in the most seemingly lyrical passages."

Other cast members include Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess; Dolora Zajick as Ježibaba; and John Relyea as the Water Sprite.

Cast:

Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Rusalka: Renée Fleming
Foreign Princess: Emily Magee
Ježibaba: Dolora Zajick
Prince: Piotr Beczala
Water Sprite: John Relyea

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Comments [7]

Due to the comments here, I got a standing room ticket to the final performance and was not disappointed in the performance at all. The fairy-tale story -- not so much.

I'm a fan of Dvorak's writing, and the whole work was just great, as was the cast. What a joy to hear Ms. Fleming (and the others) live at the Met.

DD~~

Feb. 17 2014 12:25 AM
tony from New have,ct

i was there yesterday,what a grand opera..i know opera,but this one is now one of my favorites..the cast/orch/conductor was great..the sound of that orch. RENEE FLEMING was top voice.if any one,missed yesterday's opera,try to get tickets to see this WONDERFUL MASTERPIECE...DON'T MISS IT....

Feb. 09 2014 02:16 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

I'm wondering if many listening are thinking "Where has this opera been all of my life?" This is a sterling performance with a dream cast about whom I have absolutely no quibbles whatsoever, and a conductor whom the Philadelphia Orchestra is justifiably proud to have as Music Director. Born of the soil, air and water of the Czech spirit, this is something that truly has to be seen as well as heard to appreciate and I envy those who can see it. The "Hymn to the Moon" Larghetto, 3-8, G flat major, was a delight as was the duet of the Prince and Foreign Princess in Act II. I delighted in hearing everyone. There was a slight cut in the orchestral opening of Act III, but all of the minor ones in the previous acts were left alone. The Orchestra just breathed the fire of the drama all the time; fortissimo passages were truly that and the percussion, timpani, triangle, bass drum, cymbals rang out appropriately. The tam tam was used sparingly. A orchestrator whose expertise shouldn't be ever overlooked, Dvo^ra'k even includes an harmonium accompanying a small choral passage in Act III. Thank you, Mr. Gelb and one and all.

Feb. 08 2014 05:07 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Some nice music in this one. Wish I had the score to read along. I have no snarky remarks to pass on today. I must be getting soft. What has happened to Mr. Eisenberg's poems. I do hope he is alright.
As for Ms.Fleming, my eldest son refers to her as Opera Babe. He says this with the utmost respect and admiration.

Feb. 08 2014 03:23 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

PIOTR BECZALA as the Prince and DOLORA ZAJICK as Jezibaba both outdid themselves vocally. DVORAK's music has such spirited verve, lyricism when those qualities are appropriatlly the ne that it is a joy to experience. Most people in the past would get to hear his symphonies, especially the NEW WORLD SYMPHONY, and his SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME. But tastes are constantly changing and not always for the best. Let's hope that many of the masterpieces of music, the theater, and the fine arts are resurrected for those who have not experienced those treasures. Meanwhile I am enjoying hearing the second act, with some of its martial music making. As an opera composer myself, the inventive turns and twists and the freshness of approach by Dvorak are appealing and instructive. I am performing and recording onto DVDs "The 300 Greatest Love Songs of Broadway Musicals, the Movies and the Grammys." Their release is upcoming soon. I am a Wagnerian romantischer heldentenor. I will sing the four song cycles that are most often performed in their orchestral garb: the complete Wagner's "Wesendonck Lieder," the complete Mahler's "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen," the tenor's music in Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" and Waldemar's music in Schoenberg's "Gurre-Lieder" at the New Life Expo at the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC on Saturday March 22nd at 6 PM. I have sung four three-hour-long solo concerts, the last two ALL-WAGNER concerts, in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall including programming the Wagner and the first named Mahler song cycle. One may hear my singing LIVE from the main hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium of CARNEGIE HALL, from my four three-hour-long solo concerts by downloading, FREE, 37 out of the nearly 100 selections that I have sung there by going to RECORDED SELECTIONS on my websites www.WagnerOpera.com, www.ShakespeareOpera.com and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com

Feb. 08 2014 03:08 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The opera's great, super-melodic aria was expectantly well sung by RENEE FLEMING. Coming so early in the opera, her aria is reminiscent of Rhadames aria CELESTE AIDA coming in the very first scene of AIDA. The fabled tenor JEAN DE RESZKE notoriously refused to sing it on occasions, claiming that fact as his raison d'etre.

Feb. 08 2014 01:44 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Looking forward to hearing today's broadcast of RUSALKA with RENEE FLEMING in the title role. Her voice and approach to her roles would seem to infer that she would be letter perfect for the role of Rusalka.

Feb. 08 2014 12:55 PM

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