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Resonance Works Pittsburgh will stage Dvorak's 'Rusalka' in the original Czech

Shirley McMarlin
| Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 11:30 a.m.
Artistic and general director Maria Sensi Sellner will conduct the Resonance Works Pittsburgh production of the Dvorak opera, 'Rusalka,' on May 11 and 13.
Artistic and general director Maria Sensi Sellner will conduct the Resonance Works Pittsburgh production of the Dvorak opera, 'Rusalka,' on May 11 and 13.

Resonance Works Pittsburgh will close its fifth season with a fully staged production of the Antonín Dvorák opera “Rusalka.”

The opera will be performed with the Resonance Chamber Orchestra and sung in the original Czech with projected English subtitles.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. May 11 and 3 p.m. May 13 in the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland. Resonance Works founder and artistic director Maria Sensi Sellner will conduct and Andrew Nienaber will direct.

“When I learned that Rusalka had not yet been performed in Pittsburgh, I knew we had to do it,” Sellner said in a release. “There is such a rich Slavic community in Pittsburgh, and it was the perfect choice to feature a number of singers and our Resonance Chamber Orchestra. Those who love Dvorák's orchestral music will be right at home in this lush score.”

“Dvorák's opera tells the story of Rusalka, a water nymph who falls in love with a prince and desires to become human to be with him,” according to the release. “Rusalka's father, after making his ardent objections known, steers her to a witch, who tells Rusalka that, in order to become human, she must sacrifice her voice and immortality. What's more, if she fails to win the prince's love, he will die, and she will be condemned to eternal damnation.”

Husband-and-wife duo Rachele Schmiege and Stefan Barner will play Rusalka and the prince. Making his Resonance Works debut is Michael Scarcelle (Mobile Opera, Shreveport Opera) as Vodník, Rusalka's father. Countertenor Andrey Nemzer (Metropolitan Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony) stars as the witch Ježibaba.

“Rusalka” is presented in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Theatre Arts, with support from the Heinz Endowments.

Tickets prices start at $13.50.

Details: 412-501-3330 or

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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