Rusalka

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Rusalka

 

a mythological being among the eastern Slavic peoples, particularly the Ukrainians and southern Russians. The image of the rusalka combined features of fertility spirits (field rusalki) and water sprites (river rusalki), and notions of the “unclean” dead (drowned females in particular) and infants who died unbaptized.

REFERENCE

Zelenin, D. K. Ocherki russkoi mifologii, fasc. 1. Petrograd, 1916.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are indeed very many rusaUta operas by iiineteenth-century Russian composers; and if you generalize from rusalkas to powerful supernatural females in general, the number multiplies further; if you add powerful exotic women the number grows even higher; and if you add exotic historical women you end up with practically the whole repertoire in your list (including The Love for Three Oranges, by the way, with its spell-casting Fata Morgana and even the titular oranges, which contain magical princesses).
All of a sudden Rusalka and Carmen are sinister sisters.
That overdetermination is what makes it possible to accept Naroditskaya's point about the provenance of all those rusalka operas even if we know that the Dnepr rusalki who inhabit Russian operas had swum over from the Danube, where they had been featured in Austrian Singspiel about Donauweibchen that Russian theatergoers knew very well--and even if we recall that women have been enticing and ruining clueless men in song and story ever since Adam and Eve.
Tolkien's women have been likened to valkyries (see Donovan), but rarely to rusalkas, Goldberry of course being an exception.
In any case, there is no Czech copyright on rusalkas, water nymphs and willow the wisps are a primeval part of human mythology.
The production of Rusalka at the Bastille Opera in Paris in 2002 definitely made one think twice about the Czech staging tradition that regards Rusalka as a family afternoon fairytale.
As an agglomeration, the papers cover a wide spectrum of analytical and biographical matters, though individually they tend to focus on single works: a full five papers are devoted to Rusalka (topic of a special "interdisciplinary" session concerned more with the libretto than the music); another nine choose individual chamber, orchestral, choral, or operatic works as themes.
Milan Kuna, in one of the book's most interesting essays, explores (in English) an aspect of Dvorak's personality not well known, showing how his financial demands (perhaps justified, but probably unrealistic under the circumstances) were evidently responsible for thwarting his only chance to see Rusalka performed outside the Czech lands.