Antonín Dvořák


Feb 2 - Mar 2

Kristine Opolais “gives a vocally lustrous and achingly vulnerable performance” (New York Times) in the role that helped launch her international career, the mythical Rusalka, who sings the haunting “Song to the Moon.” Director Mary Zimmerman brings her wondrous theatrical imagination to Dvořák’s fairytale of love and longing, rejection and redemption, giving the work “an inspired staging” (Huffington Post). Brandon Jovanovich, Jamie Barton, Katarina Dalayman, and Eric Owens complete “a matchless cast” (New York Times), and Sir Mark Elder conducts “a magnificent rendering of the composer’s lush score (Huffington Post).

Production a gift of the Betsy and Ed Cohen/Areté Foundation

Additional funding from Mr. William R. Miller, in memory of Irene D. Miller; and the National Endowment for the Arts

Read Synopsis Read Program
  • Sung In
  • Czech
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 3 hrs 40 mins
  • House Opens
  • Act I 57 mins
  • Intermission 30 mins
  • Act II 46 mins
  • Intermission 30 mins
  • Act III 57 mins
  • Opera Ends
New Production Feb 2 - Mar 2

This production has completed for the season.

Be sure to check out our remaining productions on the season list.

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World premiere: National Theater, Prague, 1901. The only one of Dvořák’s operas to gain an international following (so far), Rusalka is in many ways a definitive example of late Romanticism—containing folklore, evocations of the natural and the supernatural worlds, and even a poignant interpretation of the idea of a love-death. The story has a strong national flavor as well as universal appeal, infused by the Romantic supernaturalism of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s novella Undine (previously set as an opera by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Tchaikovsky, and others) and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.


Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) was celebrated internationally during his lifetime for his chamber, choral, and symphonic music, while his nine operas found little renown beyond his native Bohemia. He was especially popular in London and in New York, where he served for a while as director of the short-lived National Conservatory of Music. Jaroslav Kvapil (1868–1950) was a Czech author and poet who had written the libretto for Rusalka before Dvořák became interested in it.

Production Mary Zimmerman

Set Designer Daniel Ostling

Costume Designer Mara Blumenfeld

Lighting Designer T. J. Gerckens

Choreographer Austin McCormick

Antonín Dvořák


Antonín Dvořák


The opera takes place in an unspecified fairy-tale setting. Contrasting unspoiled and “honest” nature (the woods and lake of the framing acts) with corrupt human culture (the Prince’s palace in Act II) was a favorite theme of Romantic artists.