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Rusalka © Bayerischen Staatsoper

Dvorák Rusalka

From 14 February TO 19 February 2021
Nationaltheater - München

Dvorák : Rusalka

3h 20
  • Conductor
    James Gaffigan
  • Director
    Martin Kusej
  • Performers
    Rusalka: Kristine Opolais
    Prince: Dmytro Popov
    Vodnik, The Water Man: Günther Groissböck
    Jezibaba: Helena Zubanovich
    The Foreign Princess: Evgenia Muraveva

Spatenhaus an der Oper

Residenzstraße 12

80333 München


This offer includes a ticket in the category chosen with a dinner at the Spatenhaus an der Oper after the performance.

« Dish + Dessert » Drinks not included

Fish, Meat or Vegan plate, thanks to confirm during your booking.

Open daily from 11:30 am to 00:30am


The Spatenhaus an der Oper embodies Bavarian cuisine in its most refined form . Beautifully situated right opposite the Bavarian State Opera is celebrated in the traditional Munich Haus at great expense a fine Bavarian cuisine.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Nationaltheater - München Location Max-Joseph-Platz 2 - 80539 München Allemagne

  • Venue's Capacity: 2100

The history of Munich's actual theatre truly only begins at the end of the eighteenth century. Indeed, after over a century of infatuation for Italian opera, which was manifest in the construction of the Théâtre de la Cour (now called the Théâtre Cuvilliês, still active), local inhabitants began to feel the need for a German lyrical art. German repertoire, as Mozart appealed for, active in Munich especially during the premiere of his IDOMENEO, but also, a German theatre, since the Theatre de la Cour was limited to Italian art. The Napoleonic wars and King Maximilien I's sudden passion for the Odéon Theatre in Paris postponed this project.

The public thus waited until 1818 to discover its « National Theatre, » a subtle and luxurious synthesis of various styles: loggias in the Italian tradition cohabited with innovations from the French school of architecture. One of the noveltieswas a reservoir of water destined to be used in case of fire, but which nevertheless did not save the buildîng from flames in January 1823 ; the water was frozen! The Opera was reconstructed, financed by a special tax on beer: perhaps an original means but one yielding a particularly high return! After these rather tumultuous beginnings, the National Theatre reopened in 1825 and became the hotbed of German lyrical art. Four of Wagner's operas were premiered there between 1365 and 1870 (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Da MEISTERSINGER, DAS RHEINGOLD, and DIE WALKÜRE).

Wagner, of course, but also Mozart and Richard Strauss soon became the pillars of the Theatre's repertoire during the first half of the twentieth century, thanks to the talent of conductors such as Bruno Walter, Hans Knappertsbusch, and... Richard Strauss, himself a native of Munich. Strauss saw two of his operas premiered in his home town: FRIEDENSTAG (Peace Day, 1938!), and CAPRICCIO (1942). The libretto of the latter was elaborated with the help of the conductor Clemens Krauss, who was then Director of the Opera. The fact that the building was destroyed during the war did not prevent the company's tradition from being perpetuated.

Between 1952 and 1967, the institution was directed by Rudolf Hartmann, a former assistant to Richard Strauss and Clemens Krauss. The former 1818 edifice was reconstructed in 1963, after much hesitation as to whether or not to erect a modern hall. The long reign (1971-1992) of conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch, a distinguished representative of the tradition composed of rigour and commitment, is an example of the perserverance with which the Bayerische Staatsoper comes to terms with the legacy of its brilliant past.


The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.





As one of the most successful Czech operas, Rusalka was created by the genius mind of Antonin Dvorak. The Czech libretto, developed by poet Jaroslav Kvapil, is derived from the fairy tales of Karel Jaromir Erben and Bozena Nemcova. The Opera represents the keystone of the Czech opera houses portfolio.


A Rusalk is a water-dwelling sprite that originates from Slavic mythology. Surprisingly this opera was not a major segment of Dvorak's international reputation. Only in recent years has the opera been performed by major companies.


Described as a "sad, modern fairy tale," this Opera retains elements from The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen) and Undine (Frederich dabe la Motte Fouque). Although the libretto was completed in 1899, Kvapil went searching for composers interested in this opera. His composer friends sent him to see Dvorak who read the libretto and composed the opera quickly.


In a nearby lake, three wood-sprites tease the Water Goblin who rules the lake. A water sprite and the daughter of the Water Goblin, Rusalka, notifies her father that she has fallen deeply in love with a human Prince. He sends her to Jezibaba, a witch, for guidance. Jezibaba informs her that if she becomes human by drinking the potion; she will lose all powers of speech. If rejected by the human Prince, she will be damned to the bottom of the lake forever. She agrees and then drinks the potion to become human. The Prince finds her and leads her away.


The Gamekeeper and Kitchen Boy suspect witchcraft when they catch wind that the Prince will be marrying a nameless bridge. The Prince is lavishing attention from a Foreign Princess who is a guest. The Foreign Princess curses the newlyweds because of extreme jealously. As a result, he rejects his bride who returns back to the pond while the Foreign Princess wins over the Prince.


She calls on Jezibaba to find a solution and tells her that she can save herself from damnation if she kills the Prince with a magic dagger. Given her feelings for the Prince, Rusalka rejects the offer and disposes of the knife in the lake. She then turns into a bludicka (spirit of death who lures humans into the lake to their deaths). The Gamekeeper and Kitchen Boy contact the Water Goblin who tells them that the Prince has betrayed his daughter. The Prince comes to the lake and the two passionately kiss, bringing him to his death. She thanks the Prince for allowing her to experience human emotion, extols his soul to God and returns to the bottom of the lake.


Rusalka, a water nymph, soprano
The Prince, a betrayer, tenor
Vodnik, the water goblin, bass
Jezibaba, a witch, mezzo-soprano
Turnspit, the Kitchen Boy, soprano
The Gamekeeper, tenor

© Bayerischen Staatsoper

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