Opera Scotland

Poster for the premiere

Rusalka in Scotland

Posted 6 Mar 2016

Rusalka, about to be performed by Scottish Opera for the first time, has previously only received one run of performances in Scotland. It opened on 19 August 1964, during the first visit by the opera company from the National Theatre, Prague to the Edinburgh Festival. Four other operas were given during that visit. Kátya Kabanová received its Scottish premiere, while Dalibor, From the House of the Dead and Resurrection (by Cikker) were all being seen in the UK for the first time.

The conductor was Jan Hus Tichy, while the staging was in the hands of the brilliant partnership of Václav Kašlík (director) and Josef Svoboda (sets and lighting). Their work would quickly be seen elsewhere and had a strong influence on the introduction of modern theatre techniques to opera.

The casts of the five performances included Milada Šubrtová and Libuše Domanínská sharing the title role. The Prince was sung by both Ivo Žídek and Beno Blachut, while the Princess was played by Libuše Prylová and Nadežda Kniplová. These were all notable star performers with the company for many years.

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