Antonin Dvorak

The desire to be different

Written in the early 20th century by Antonin Dvorák, “Rusalka” is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Little Mermaid”. The heart of the story is accepting one’s own identity.

But it also explores one of the great mysteries of humankind: the fragility of love. And it does so through a tale of witches, princes, mermaids and evil princesses who help us understand such important subjects as survival, infidelity, racism, rejection and death.
Will giving up on being who we are bring us happiness or misery? Is “Rusalka” a metaphor for racism? Or is it simply an exaltation of difference? Those and many other questions will be discussed with our guest today: writer and speaker Elsa Punset.

At the same time, we’ll learn to distinguish between the different sonorities and motifs that Dvorák assigned to each one of his characters. And we’ll see that, just as music has its own appellation, so do the characters and songs that make up an opera.

With this gorgeous score, we will discover that, perhaps, one of our greatest errors is turning our back on our own nature because, what have we become if we do so? The answer, once again, can be found in a simple fairy tale.

"RUSALKA" Bayerische Staatsoper, UNITEL 2010
Audio excerpts:
The Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World", Op. 95
Music by OBC, recorded by Catalunya Música
Technicians: Jordi Raventós - Jordi Capell
Musical production: Carles Lobo
Edition: Dani Guinot

Elsa Punset