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Renowned Czech fairytale debuts in China

CCTV.com

05-23-2016 18:28 BJT

Composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1900, "Rusalka" is based on a Czech fairytale similar in theme to "The Little Mermaid".

Composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1900, "Rusalka" is based on a Czech fairytale similar in theme to "The Little Mermaid".

Composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1900, "Rusalka" is based on a Czech fairytale similar in theme to "The Little Mermaid".

Rusalka is a water nymph so enamored with a human - the Prince - that she becomes human herself in order to pursue her love. But in doing so, she loses the power of speech and is cursed if she doesn't find love.

Some Chinese people are already familiar with the story's heroine...

The role of 'Rusalka' is not new to Chinese audiences. They were introduced to the aria 'Song to the Moon' back in the 1950s. But it was not until tonight, more than half a century later, that the whole sad but beautiful story was put onto China's operatic stage.

"Rusalka", now staged at the National Center for the Performing Arts, was Dvorak's ninth opera. And it's striking a chord with audience members.

"I heard the aria 'Song to the Moon' and a lot of other works by Dvorak. The artist said his favourite form was opera, and this one is one of his most famous. So we came to see it," said an audience member.

This staging has embraced 3D technology. Audience members are part of the story, sitting in a deep sea world with mermaids.

Soprano Dinara Alieva charts her journey in the title role.

"This is a fantastic role, beautiful music, and a great production. I'm very happy. Before I've played many many roles, but this role is different because she's fairy tale, mysterious, and fantastic. And she transforms into three characters. Very difficult," Alieva said.

"Ms. Alieva is a very good colleague, she has a beautiful voice. I'm sure the audience will like the show," said Peter Berger, actor for prince.

The 2000-seat opera house was packed out every day during the week-long run of Rusalka.

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