Thursday, October 18, 2007


Antonin Dvorák's Rusalka premiered in 1901 under high acclaim of the then audiences. Now it is seldom performed since it is no longer considered a masterpiece; it is however a wonderful evening out. It is a fable, a fairytale, or a water nymph tale to be accurate. Rusalka fell madly in love with a prince who often comes to the lake. her ardent desire is to be human and know human love. The old witch she asks for help predicts eternal disaster and a a lot of sacrifice, one of them to be forever mute to human ears, thus the ears of her loved one. Of course what doesn't a woman do for love, she throws the warnings in the wind and the prince is enchanted by her pale beauty. A carnal princes (marvelously sung!!) seduces the prince because 'even if she doesn't love him, she wants him for herself' and so on. And don't hope for a happy end! The prince commits suicide in her watery embrace, while she forever remains a specter, a shadow of her former self. I loved the whole atmosphere, yet the feminist in me analyzed the story to mean that once a girl grows up and becomes a woman there is no way back. The father figure cannot protect his daughter but can take revenge on the one who made her suffer, casting her away lightly. The father , however, cannot allow her to come back to the fold of her sisters. Her feeling of muteness is a nice metaphor for marriage, where wifes are too seldom heard by husbands. The state theater was filled brimming over, we sat on the chair way up under the roof, surrounded by kids and happy people. It is a narrow, steep and impeccably kept interior in black lacquer and red chairs and floors and curtains. Tradition can be reassuring. After that, a sinful dessert and a stroll through old Prague.


  1. Tumble weed op 'Den Uil'! En daar zijn geen accidenten van gekomen?

  2. I heard the words "sinful dessert". I am in a sinful, I will oblige, next time you wander into town. Ice cream ? j

  3. Prague is cultural center of Europe. There are so many theaters, galleries and museums.
    Arriving in Prague in the winter was like a dream come true for me as to gaze across the snow covered rooftops was like something straight out of a fairy tale...
    Right from the moment I took my first walk around the old town in the evening mist of my first night, I instantly felt as though I had been swallowed up by its astounding history from its first founding just over a millennia ago. The old town square is simply breathtaking, presided over majestically as it is by the town hall and the dominating presence of the monolithic Church of Our Lady before Tyn. A short five minute walk from the square has you standing on the banks of the Vltava River gazing in awe at the medieval masterpiece of the Charles Bridge - in fact the only thing that can possibly tear your eyes from this visual feast is the simply stunning presence of Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral standing proudly watching over the city on the opposite bank.
    And that is just the beginning of visual treats that Prague has to offer... :-)