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Steps to the New World with Antonín Dvořák ⬩ Song to the Moon
Naturally, our selections from Dvořák’s most famous opera with commentary could not omit Rusalka’s beautiful aria “Song to the Moon”, which is mainly about love. Besides Rusalka, there will be two more central characters leading us through this lyrical tale: the Water Goblin and the Prince.
Czech Student Philharmonic
Marko Ivanović conductor
Petr Kadlec guide
Pavla Vykopalová Rusalka
Richard Samek The Prince
František Zahradníček The Water Goblin
The program is based on a musical part but also on a spoken word that will be given in Czech language only. The program will not be supplied with English subtitles.
Rusalka is Dvořák’s penultimate opera, and it was already giving its composer great happiness while writing it: “I am filled with enthusiasm and joy that my work is going so well”, he wrote in June 1900 to his friend Alois Göbl in Sychrov. That was just three months after Dvořák had become familiar with the libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil, for which he began composing music almost immediately. In late November, after just seven months, he finished the entire opera, which lasts two and a half hours in a staged performance.
During the last years of his life, Dvořák devoted himself exclusively to composing operas—besides Rusalka he also wrote The Devil and Kate and Armida. Shortly before his death, the composer looked back on this period: “In the last five years, I have written nothing but opera. If the Lord God wills me more good health, I would like to devote all of my powers to opera composing. Not perhaps out of a vain desire for fame, but because I regard opera as the most suitable genre for the nation. The music is listened to by broad strata of people and very often (…). I am regarded as a symphonist although I proved my primary inclination towards dramatic composing many years ago.”
Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall
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