You can watch it here.
If you’re a fan of Dvořák’s achingly beautiful mermaid opera Rusalka, it's your lucky week. And if you aren’t a fan already, here is your chance to become one. From now until April 16 you can watch a streaming video of Stefan Herheim’s stunning production of this opera on the La Monnaie website. It's a production that must be seen to be believed in its musicality, insight, and technical virtuosity. Best for you not to know much about it going in. I wrote about this production when I saw it live in its Dresden iteration here, but watch it before you read what I wrote!
Another Rusalka, from the Bayerische Staatsoper and directed by Martin Kusej, was my top production of 2010, and it's out on DVD in the US this week. (Europe has had it for a while). Kusej is not after showmanship like Herheim, instead his vision of a scarred young woman imprisoned by her father is deeply moving and disturbing. Here's my review of it when I saw it live. The trailers for both productions are at the bottom of this post.
Rusalka is Regie bait whose dreamy fairy tale quality cries out for challenging and symbolic interpretation (much like Lohengrin). In a traditional production, it can easily turn into a sentimental weepy that is a little too eager to watch its title character be tortured. Kusej and Herheim take different paths, but both force us to question why this is something we want to see so badly.
By the way, if you haven't already please vote for me in the Great Arts Blogger Death Match so I can feel sort of popular and have the opportunity write further profound think pieces. Also, I'm going to see Manon at the Met on Saturday, I just couldn't make it to the premiere on Monday.
La Monnaie Rusalka (here in the Dresden trailer because it has more footage of the actual production)
Another video features Herheim talking (in English!) about the production.
Bayerische Staatsoper Rusalka: