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.

Speaking to Czech Radio, Opolais recalled that the role of the mythical Rusalka helped launch her international career.

“I am in love with Dvořák. The role of Rusalka and this opera makes me feel completely pure and clean from all bad things. We all have dark sides but this music and this opera makes me a better person.”

Sir Mark Elder, who conducted the new production of Rusalka, is a life-long admirer of Antonín Dvořák’s music. He says he became acquainted with all of Dvořák`s famous melodies long before he became a professional conductor:

“I have done the piece a lot in London many years ago when I was much younger in a very interesting production, very unusual. And since those times at the beginning of the 1980s, the piece has become so accepted and loved and appreciated.”

Listen to the feature via Radio Prague