19 Oct 2014 (Sun) 5 ‑ 9pm (4 hours)
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Renée Fleming returns to one of her signature roles, singing the enchanting “Song to the Moon” in Dvořák’s soulful fairy-tale opera. Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Prince, Dolora Zajick is Ježibaba, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts this colorful storybook production.

Act I A meadow by a lake. The water nymph Rusalka sits sadly as wood nymphs sing and dance. She is unhappy, she tells her father, the Water Sprite, because she fell in love with a human—the Prince—when he came to swim in the lake. Now she wants to become human herself to be with him. Horrified, the Water Sprite tells her that humans are evil. When Rusalka insists, he advises her to get help from the witch Ježibaba. Rusalka calls on the moon to tell the Prince of her love. Ježibaba arrives and agrees to turn Rusalka into a human—but warns her that if she doesn’t find love she will be damned and the man she loves will die. Also, by becoming mortal, she will lose her power of speech. Convinced that her love will overcome all spells, Rusalka agrees and Ježibaba gives her a potion to drink. As dawn breaks, the Prince appears with a hunting party and finds Rusalka by the lake. Even though she won’t speak to him, he is captivated by her beauty and takes her to his castle. The Water Sprite and the nymphs mourn the loss of Rusalka.


Act II At the castle, the Gamekeeper and the Kitchen Boy discuss the Prince’s strange new bride. The Prince enters with Rusalka, still determined to win her despite her seeming coldness. A Foreign Princess, who has come for the wedding, mocks Rusalka’s silence and reproaches the Prince for ignoring his guests. The Prince sends Rusalka away to dress for the ball and escorts the Princess into the castle. In the deserted garden, the Water Sprite appears from the pool. Rusalka, intimidated by her surroundings, rushes from the castle in tears. Suddenly recovering her voice, she begs the Water Sprite to help her, telling him that the Prince no longer loves her. The Prince and the Princess return and the Prince confesses his love for her. When Rusalka intervenes, he rejects her. The Water Sprite warns the Prince of the fate that awaits him, then disappears with Rusalka. The Prince asks the Princess for help but she ridicules him and tells him to follow his bride into hell.


Act III Back by the lake, Rusalka laments her fate. Ježibaba mocks her, then explains there is a way to save herself: she must kill the Prince. Rusalka refuses. When her sisters reject her as well, she sinks into the water in despair. The Gamekeeper and the Kitchen Boy arrive to ask Ježibaba for help. The Prince, they say, has been bewitched by a strange wood girl. Enraged, the Water Sprite rises from the lake, saying that it was the Prince who deceived Rusalka. Terrified by the supernatural sight, the two run away. The Prince, desperate and half crazy with remorse, emerges from the forest, looking for Rusalka and calling out for her to return to him. She appears from the water, reproaching him for his infidelity, and explains that now a kiss from her would kill him. Accepting his destiny, he asks her to kiss him to give him peace. She does, and he dies in her arms. Rusalka asks for mercy on his soul and disappears into the water.

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