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“It’s not a Cinderella story”: Kristine Opolais on returning to Rusalka (Bachtrack exclusive)

February 24, 2017

Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais shot to international fame in 2010 with a controversial production of Antonin Dvořák’s Rusalka at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. She has recently performed the role in Mary Zimmerman’s much anticipated new production at The Met, a house where she made history in 2014, making two Met role debuts within 18 hours. After performing in Madama Butterfly, she then stepped in for a matinee of La bohème the next day. She is especially acclaimed for her Puccini roles, her Manon Lescaut with at Covent Garden reaching a huge audience via cinema relay and DVD release.

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He Sang / She Sang: Nymphs, Witches, and Gnomes: The Magic of ‘Rusalka’

February 21, 2017

WQXR.org

Antonin Dvorak fell in love with the story of Rusalka as soon as he laid eyes on the libretto, and it was an immediate success when it premiered at the National Theater in Prague in 1901. Based primarily on two fairy tales (Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” and Friedrich de la Motte Fouque’s “Undine”), it tells the story of a water nymph who falls in love with a prince and trades her voice to become human. Contrary to the Disney version, the story ends tragically for Rusalka. She is betrayed by the man she loves, and she is doomed to spend the rest of her life trapped between the immortal world of the water nymphs and the mortal human world.

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Rusalka makes waves with Metropolitan Opera production (Radio Prague)

February 7, 2017

After a pause of nearly 25 years, Antonín Dvořák’s most famous opera Rusalka is back on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The highly anticipated production of the “lyric fairy tale” about a water nymph, who wishes to become a human in order to be loved by a young prince, is only the second in the history of the Metropolitan Opera.

The new staging of Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka has been described by the New York media as an opera-lovers must-see event. The young Latvian singer Kristine Opolais stars in the role of Rusalka, a water nymph, who gives up all that is dear to her for the love of a handsome prince. She is only the third Rusalka to have appeared on stage of the Metropolitan Opera – two lead singers Gabriela Beňačková and Renée Fleming, starred in the previous production.

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Opolais Reigns in the Met’s New “Rusalka” (The Huffington Post)

February 3, 2017

“The mysterious look of the production, fantastical and ominous, combines with the sensual singing of a handsome cast to create a romantic energy rare at the Met — or at any opera house …  the Met has assembled a matchless cast, led by the lovely soprano Kristine Opolais, who gives a vocally lustrous and achingly vulnerable performance as Rusalka, the water nymph who falls in love with a human prince. Even in the unusual love scenes between the prince and the silent Rusalka, who has given up her voice to become mortal, Ms. Zimmerman has coaxed simmering tension from Ms. Opolais and the dashing tenor Brandon Jovanovich … with her fidgety physical gestures and darting eyes, Ms. Opolais conveys the character’s restlessness and pining. This powerful singing actress adds unusual intensity to her plaintive “Song to the Moon,” Rusalka’s famed lament, suggesting the character’s defiant side more than most sopranos … finally, the two have a real love duet, impassioned, fitful music, sung here with burnished sound and wrenching beauty by Ms. Opolais and Mr. Jovanovich.”

Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times

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“Rusalka” Makes Stars (The New Yorker feature)

January 27, 2017

Dvořák’s 1901 opera, “Rusalka,” didn’t arrive at the Met until 1993, but it soon became a major vehicle for the burgeoning career of the soprano Renée Fleming. Now this tender piece (beloved for its aria “Song to the Moon”) features another star in the making, Kristine Opolais, who has long made the title role part of her repertory. The new production is by Mary Zimmerman, whose radical interpretations of such comfy classics as “La Sonnambula” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” caused much controversy in the early Peter Gelb era.

The New Yorker

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“Ich liebe, also sing ich”

January 18, 2017

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden: Im Festspielhaus Baden-Baden gibt Kristīne Opolais bei den Osterfestspielen ihr Debüt, mit einer Musik, in der sie alles andere ist als Debütantin. „Puccini ist meine große Liebe“, schwärmte die lettische Sopranistin in der Titelgeschichte des letzten Festspielhaus-Magazins. Ein Blick auf ihre Engagements der vergangenen Jahre genügt, um herauszufinden, dass das nicht übertrieben ist: Cio-Cio San („Madama Butterfly“) an der Wiener Staatsoper, in Covent Garden und in München, Mimì („La Bohème“) und die Titelrolle in „Manon Lescaut“ an der Met in New York, Tosca in Covent Garden, Magda („La rondine“) an der Berliner Staatsoper… Am schönsten ist Liebe, wenn sie erwidert wird. Damit hat Kristine Opolais keine Probleme, Publikum und Kritiker wickelt sie um die Finger: „Sie klingt so glamourös, wie sie aussieht“, schrieb ein hingerissener Rezensent in der „New York Times“ 2016 über ihre Manon Lescaut.

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Calendar

New York City

Rusalka

February 2, 6, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25 &
March 2, 2017

Baden-Baden

Tosca

April 7, 2017

Baden-Baden

Tosca

April 10, 13 & 17, 2017

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