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A stable, although not distinctive, Rusalka on the Palau de les Arts in Valencia – Seen and Heard Worldwide

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SpainSpain Dvořák, Rusalka: Soloists, Dancers, Generalitat Valenciana Refrain, Comunitat Valenciana Orchestra / Cornelius Meister (conductor). Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia, 9.2.2024. (JMI)

Olesya Golovneva (Rusalka), Adam Smith (Prince) and Sinéad Campbell-Wallace (International Princess) © M. Lorenzo & M. Ponce

Director – Christof Loy
Units – Johannes Leiacker
Costumes – Ursula Renzenbrink
Lighting – Bernd Purkrabek
Choreography – Klevis Elmazaj
Refrain grasp – Francesc Perales

Rusalka – Olesya Golovneva
Prince – Adam Smith
Vodník – Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev
Ježibaba – Enkelejda Shkoza
International Princess – Sinéad Campbell-Wallace
Nymphs – Cristina Toledo, Laura Fleur, Alyona Abramova
Gamekeeper – Manel Esteve
Kitchen Boy – Laura Orueta
Hunter – Daniel Gallegos

This glorious Antonín Dvořák opera is being staged on the Palau de les Arts for the primary time for the reason that theatre opened. It was a stable efficiency in each respect, though not an distinctive one.

I had the chance to see the Christof Loy manufacturing – with units by Johannes Leiacker and costumes by Ursula Renzenbrink – 4 years in the past at Teatro Actual, and it nonetheless appears to me that it has constructive components, whereas others usually are not so convincing. (It’s a Teatro Actual coproduction with Palau de les Arts, Barcelona Liceu, and Dresden Semperoper.)

Christof Loy’s Rusalka © M. Lorenzo & M. Ponce

There’s mainly one set for your entire opera which options a big room with arches within the background. The water kingdom scenes are achieved by including some rocks. The costumes are fashionable and engaging.

Rusalka is a ballet dancer right here, and there are glorious ballet dancers on stage. In sum, it’s a appropriate manufacturing, spectacular in lots of features, however with out the presence of a key component: the water.

Cornelius Meister is the musical director of the Stuttgart Opera. His conducting was good, even sensible at instances, and he took nice care of the singers, however I have to confess that I anticipated extra from him. His studying fell brief on emotion at some essential moments, as was the case within the stunning Act III. The orchestra did nicely, as did the refrain.

Soprano Olesya Golovneva as Rusalka gave a tremendous efficiency, together with ballet steps from the second she entered the stage. She was excellent in some ways however a bit mild vocally for the function. I desire a extra spinto soprano, as was the case nearly twenty years in the past with the younger Sondra Radvanovsky, whose efficiency stays a reference for me. Golovneva was considerably weak in her low register, which is required on multiple event and particularly in Acts II and III.

The character of the Prince just isn’t a simple one to cowl. Tenor Adam Smith, whom I had not seen on stage till now, made a constructive impression, contemplating the difficulties that this character presents. He was at his finest in Act III, within the scene of his demise in Rusalka’s arms.

Bass Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev sang the a part of Vodník or The Water Spirit, and his efficiency was not more than appropriate. His voice lacks energy, and he’s too younger to be Rusalka’s father.

Mezzo-soprano Enkelejda Shkoza as Ježibaba supplied a sonorous voice and a stable interpretation. The International Princess was sung by soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, a tremendous actress with a voice that’s well-suited to the function.

The secondary characters had been very nicely carried out in all circumstances: the three Nymphs (Cristina Toledo, Laura Fleur and Alyana Abramova) had been superb, as had been Manel Esteve because the Gamekeeper. Laura Orueta because the Kitchen Boy and Daniel Gallegos because the Hunter.

José M. Irurzun

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