Friday, November 4, 2011

Semper Rusalka in Dresden (take two)

Rusalka, Semperoper Dresden, November 3 2011

Conductor ..... Tomáš Netopil
Director ..... Stefan Herheim
Set Design ..... Heike Scheele

Prinz ..... Zoltán Nyári
Rusalka ..... Tatiana Monogarova
Die fremde Fürstin ..... Anda-Louise Bogza
Wassermann ..... Georg Zeppenfeld
Ježibaba ..... Tichina Vaughn
Erste Elfe ..... Vanessa Goikoetxea
Zweite Elfe ..... Barbara Senator
Dritte Elfe ..... Sofi Lorentzen
Jäger, Priester ...... Gerald Hupach
Metzger ..... Torsten Schäpan
Polizist ..... Friedrich Darge
Mr. High (Chorsolist) ..... Michael Auenmüller
Mr. Low (Chorsolist) ..... Jun Seok Bang
Der Apotheker (Chorsolist) ..... Jae-Suk Kim
Der Besserwisser (Chorsolist) ..... Alexander Schafft

Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden (Pablo Assante)
Staatskapelle Dresden

I could not resist going to see once again my dearest Stefan Herheim production -- Rusalka. Especially when I saw that the phenomenal Tatiana Monogarova and Georg Zeppenfeld would sing, I said I go!

So, I will simply refer you to my blog entry from less than a year ago and say that I loved the show this time as much as I did the first I saw it. Tatiana and Georg were SUPERB, Tichina Vaughn very good too, as well as Zoltán Nyári. The only difference is that instead of Marjorie Owens last night the role of the Foreign Princess was sung by Anda-Louise Bogza who matches and surpasses Marjorie's vocal power but sings the role with less finesse.

This is the show in which Herheim's conspicuous genius worked at its highest, and he managed to shift the focus from Rusalka onto Waterman, spin the game around the midlife crisis of "every man", and it works impeccably.  Genius at work that Heike Scheele followed by her witty and dexterously structured sets! The Regie Theater at its best!

What sets Herheim apart is that the shows he directs are absolutely anchored to music; his stagings give support to music, deconstruct the librettos in such a way that a given opera suddenly becomes closer to us (instead of being shelved somewhere in the archives waiting for someone to undust it, revive it, and return it back to archives.) I am quite convinced his concepts would not work as well if they were staged in play-theaters, but in the world of opera he definitely is the master of the game.

Tomas Netopil proves once again that he is up there with Kirill Petrenko in the league of the best conductors under-50.

This time I could take some post-show photos:

Three wood sprites

Waterman/Vodnik cannot get them out of his head...

Priest, Butcher, Police Officer, and a little frog -- characters that do not exist in Dvorak's opera, but perfectly suit the story told by Stefan Herheim.

Zoltan Nyari

Tatiana Monogarova and Tichina Vaughn

Anda-Louise Bogza

Georg Zeppenfeld -- la force tranquille

Tomas Netopil and Tatiana Monogarova

More production photos and the trailer here and here.


  1. Lucky you. Monogarova is superb. I heard her Tatiana twice this summer and she was breathtaking. The production is intriguing and appears to liven a very creaky libretto.

  2. Awesome - thanks for sharing your thoughts :) Just realized that @angieincampo (Twitter handle) has also written a review about one performance of Rusalka in sommer here at @SemperoperDD -