By Antonín Dvořák
The Lowry, 17 June 2010
This was the opera that inspired Handke and Wenders’ Wings of Desire.
It tells the story of Rusalka, a naiad who falls in love with a prince. She wants to become human so as to win his love, but such a radical change in the natural order comes at a cost.
Dvorak’s delicate music gave the drama a high-performance emotional engine, and it was rendered splendidly. Giselle Allen, in the central role, was wonderful and Anne-Marie Owens as the forest witch caught the eye and enchanted the ear too.
Of the sets, it must be said that they had real gusto; they were like the vividly coloured panels of a comic book. And the nature of the story, what with its supernatural elements and the myriad spirits and forces with their strange powers and duties, enhanced this sense that you were watching the pages of a superhero comic slowly turn.
It made for an enchanted experience.
Rusalka is touring throughout the UK until the end of June . Tour dates here.