The opera version of `The Little Mermaid´, composed by Dvorák, is premiering in Symphony Hall on 5, 7 and 9 March


The Auditorio de Tenerife presents its in-house production of the opera Rusalka, by Antonín Dvořák, which will be staged in the Symphony Hall on 5, 7 and 9 March at 7:30 p.m. The details were announced by the provincial Minister for Culture of the Island Council of Tenerife, José Carlos Acha, the artistic director of the Auditorio de Tenerife, José Luis Rivero, the soprano Ángeles Blancas, who plays Rusalka, the musical director, the British maestro Paul Daniel, and the stage director, the Brazilian André Heller-Lopes, who makes his debut in Spain with this opera.

José Carlos Acha explained that "this premiere is taking place at the time of the 120th anniversary of the death of this famous Czech composer, the author of this opera”. He also recalled that "as on other occasions to explore this opera further, Ramón Gener is returning this Wednesday (21) at 7:30 p.m. to the Chamber Hall with his concert-talk format”. The island minister praised the work "of the highly talented team that is producing this piece, which stars Ángeles Blanca, who recently won the Opera XXI award for Best Singer”.

José Luis Rivero acknowledged that "we were keen to work with the maestro Paul Daniel at the Opera of Tenerife, and also with André Heller-Lopes, who is bringing us an interesting and intelligent show that won't fail to leave an impression on anyone”. Rivero stated that "this is the Tenerife premiere of this opera, as Rusalka had never been staged before" and finished by thanking "the entire team for the work that makes it possible to enjoy the opera in Tenerife”.

Paul Daniel recalled his beginnings as a repertoire performer in London when Rusalka had an impact on him. “Dvořák is a musical genius across all genres and this opera represents the Everest of his work as a composer, and he was already adored for his compositions filled with the human touch", analysed the British maestro. Regarding the score, he praised "how dramatic shifts in the story are reflected in the change of colours in the score”. “It takes a good orchestra to produce this opera, thank goodness we have the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra!" declared the musical director.

For André Heller-Lopes, "it is a great pleasure to be here and more so with this Rusalka, which is like the sister of the operas of Puccini and Dvořák, which is like a grandson of Wagner”.  “I like the freedom of being able to be a classic or modern stage director, according to what the opera needs, committing to connecting with people who come to the theatre" explained the Brazilian director. Regarding his show, he shared that "it seemed interesting to change realities; therefore, act one and three, which is normally the fantasy world is a reality for us, while act two, which takes place in a palace, devised as reality, is a fantasy for us”. Heller-Lopes also spoke about his reflection on "happily ever after, which doesn't exist, but which is a contemporary issue in this world of social networks, awful wars and fake news”. Lastly, he highlighted his Eastern inspiration due to a recent trip to Persia.

The singer Ángeles Blancas expressed her gratitude at being in Tenerife with this character "and the Ópera de Tenerife's boundless commitment to creativity”. The soprano recalled first performing this role in 2007 and that, although she was very well-prepared vocally, she "had the feeling that Rusalka needed greater drama and darkness, so I am thrilled to return to the role to express and sing with those full and rounded sounds that mix with darker melodies”. Therefore, this production consists of "reuniting with a commonplace that is very fulfilling on an artistic level for me”.

Rusalka, an opera in three acts that premiered in 1901, has a libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil, freely based on the fairy tale Undine (1811) by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué and inspired by The Little Mermaid (1837), the work by Hans Christian Andersen, and other European tales. Rusalka is the most popular of the ten operas that Dvořák composed and the one that earned him an international reputation. The opera is in Czech and will have subtitles in Spanish and English.

Rusalka is a water nymph who asks a witch to be turned into a human to be with the prince whom she has fallen in love with, even though this means losing her voice. The tragic ending to the opera differs from other versions of the same story which have been sugar-coated for children.

Heller-Lopes' team is completed by the set designer Renato Theobaldo, Marcelo Marques' costumes and the lighting designer Gonzalo Córdova. The Brazilian assistant director undertook choreographer duties with the dancers from Ballet de Tenerife who are participating. The videographer Pedrós created the images that will be screened, and they have a great local component.

The British conductor Paul Daniel is the musical conductor of this show and will conduct the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and the Ópera de Tenerife-Intermezzo Choir, directed by Pablo Moras.

Ángeles Blancas will play Rusalka, making this role her debut at Ópera de Tenerife. Bass Vazgen Gazaryan is Vodník, Rusalka's father. The tenor Rodrigo Porras will play the prince with whom Rusalka falls in love. The soprano Magdalena Anna Hofmann plays the role of the foreign princess with whom the prince is infatuated. The witch Jezibaba, who grants Rusalka's wish but not without imposing some very nasty conditions, will be played by mezzo-soprano Adriana Bignagni Lesca.

The cast is completed by three wood spirits, played by soprano Julietta Aleksanyan and mezzo-sopranos Carmen Artaza and Maria Schellenberg. Baritone Jiří Brückler will take on the roles of a hunter and a forester, while mezzo-soprano Nicole Chirka will be the perceptive kitchen maid.

The tickets are available on the website, at the auditorium's box office or by dialling the phone number 902 317 327 from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m. There are discounts for students, unemployed and large families, and for those under 30, the price is 5 euros.