Lyrical Fairytale in Three Acts Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil
Conducted by James Conlon
Directed by Robert Carsen
Sets and costumes designed by Michael Levine
Lighting by Robert Carsen & Peter van Praet
Choreography by Philippe Giraudeau
Rusalka Renée Fleming
The Prince Sergei Larin
Jezibaba the Witch Larissa Dadkova
The Water Goblin Franz Hawlata
The Foreign Princess Eva Urbanova
The Gamekeeper Michel Sénéchal
The Turnspit Karine Deshayes
First Wood Nymph Michelle Canniccioni
Second Wood Nymph Svetlana Lifar
Third Wood Nymph Nona Javakhidze
The Hunter's Voice Kevin Greenlaw
Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris
Production François Roussillon
The moon hangs above the lake.
Curious, the moon gazes into the depths,
sending her beams to the lake's bottom,
where a water goblin shakes his head,
his old green head.
Who goes there through this night?
Water goblin, the moon is rising, she is peering
through your window and in a moment will steal in,
into your silvery hall.
The moon is wandering over the lake.
A little breeze is dancing over the lake,
the Water Goblin has awaken,
Water Goblin, Water Clown!
Bubbles are rising from the depths,
the Water Goblin is ascending!
Water Goblin wants to marry.
Which of us will make the water foam, comb the old man's tangled locks,
take the place
of Grandma Water Goblin?
You are most welcome
here in the lake, you denizens of sylvan glades!
have your high spirits been dampened by forest gloom?
l have wonderful things to show you
down at the bottom:
by the sackful.
l'll flit through the reeds, and stretch out my hand
to grab one of these young things, catch hold of her foot
and drag her down to the depths!
Water Goblin! Hey!
Try and catch us if you can!
Water Goblin! Hey! Try and catch us if you can!
Whichever one you catch
will give you a nice kiss!
Whichever one you catch will give you a nice kiss!
But your wife will pull your ears for you!
She'll pull your ears for you!
Try and catch us if you can!
What a pack of ragamuffins!
And they certainly can run!
down dale, over fields!
Well, they're young, after all!
Dear Father Water Goblin!
How you startled me, my child!
You're not using moonbeams
to dry out my fishing nets?
Dear Father Water Goblin, before the foaming waters
reclaim me, stay with me a while,
and chase my sorrow away.
What do you mean, ''sorrow''? - l'll tell you all about it.
Are you sad deep underwater?
So sad l could die! - Down below, where all the fun is?
lmpossible! Explain yourself. - l wish to leave the watery depths,
to become human and live in golden sunshine!
l wish to leave here
and escape from the watery depths.
Can l believe my ears?
You want to become human?
a mortal being?
You yourself used to tell me strange tales
of how they have souls,
and how these souls
ascend to heaven
once the human dies,
vanishing from the earth,
As long as these waves cradle you,
do not wish for a soul.
because souls are full of sin.
And full of love!
Ye ancient waters! My child, you're not in love with a human?
He often comes here and submits to my embrace.
Leaving his clothes on the shore, he plunges into my arms.
But l'm only a wave
and he doesn't even know l exist.
l know l must myself become human,
so that, just as l embrace him
and hold him in my arms,
he will also embrace me
and kiss me passionately.
night after night your sisters will cry for you.
There's no hope for you
once you've been seduced by a human.
Dearest Water Goblin,
he must be able to see me!
Tell me, dear Father, what should l do?
lost for eternity,
if you give yourself to a man!
lt's pointless to ask you to join the fun down below.
You'd better summon the witch Jezibaba ,
my poor, wan Rusalka!
O moon in the velvet heavens,
your light shines far,
you roam throughout the whole world,
gazing into human dwellings.
O moon, stay a while,
tell me where my beloved is!
O tell him, silver moon,
that my arms cover him,
in the hope that for at least a moment,
he will dream of me.
Shine on him, wherever he may be,
and tell him of the one who awaits him here.
lf a human soul should dream of me,
may he still remember me on waking.
O moon, don't fade away!
The water feels ever colder.
Jezibaba ! Jezibaba !
My poor, wan Rusalka!
Why so much
Who dares to wake me before sunrise?
Give me a potion
to release me from this watery realm!
Fee, fie, fo, fum, what's this l hear?
Speak up, and tell me who you are!
l am Rusalka, a water nymph.
Please give me a potion, dear Auntie!
Show yourself, if you are a nymph.
l must see you, you lovely child!
l am held back by the waves and tethered by the water lilies.
Tear yourself away if you can, and hurry to my cottage.
Release her, waves, set her free,
let her feet touch the ground!
Little feet, carry her, little feet, support her! See!
See, her feet are already learning to walk!
Your ancient wisdom is infinite.
You know the secrets of nature.
ln the depths of the night you dream of people,
and you understand the eternal elements.
You know how to combine earthly poisons
and moonbeams into thousands of remedies.
You know how to build up,
how to break down,
how to destroy,
how to create.
You can turn a man
into a monster,
and back again,
all with your eternal wisdom.
At night, the nymphs tremble at the thought of you.
wonderful remedies to cure people's ailments.
For us and for humans around the world,
you are an element and a human.
Mortality and immortality are in your hands.
Help me, remarkable woman!
l know, l know,
people are always telling me that!
listen carefully, before you try this potion:
you have pearls and beauty,
but what will l get for aiding you?
Take everything l have,
but make me into a human!
ls that all? Nothing more?
ls that all you want?
You came here in tears for that?
You are tired of a life in water, and you long to have a human body,
to love and be loved,
exchange sweet kisses,
cuddle and coo. l know all about that,
that's what everyone wants!
ln your wisdom, you know everything.
Give me a human body,
a human soul!
l'll give you one,
the devil l will!
But in exchange you must give me
your clear water veil. And if you find no love on earth,
you will be condemned to a life of rejection in the depths!
lf you lose this love you're longing for,
the curse of the watery powers will drag you down to the depths!
Even before you find it, you will suffer: to all human beings
you will remain mute.
ls that what you want?
To be mute
for the one you love?
lf only l can know his love,
l'll gladly remain mute for him!
Watch over him well, and remember this:
if you should return accursed to the Water Goblin's realm,
your lover will also meet his end there!
He will be forced to share your fate:
Armed with a pure human soul,
a pure human soul,
my love will defeat all spells.
Hasten then to my cottage.
We'll brew some poisons on the hearth,
give them to Rusalka to drink.
Then she won't make another sound.
Mist is rising above the meadows.
A drop of dragon's blood, ten drops of bile,
the warm heart of a bird, still beating!
Jump, tomcat, jump! Stir it up well!
No torture is as bad as this!
This is your fate as a human, and you must drink it.
Once you taste the brew, your tongue will turn to wood.
Jump, my tomcat, hola, hey! Pour the potion down her throat!
Then she won't make another sound!
My poor, wan Rusalka!
A young hunter was out riding,
when he saw a white doe in the forest,
a white doe with soulful eyes.
Will my arrow strike her down?
Oh, young huntsman, hurry on,
do not take aim at that white doe.
Beware of that white apparition!
Will my arrow strike her down?
She came this way and then disappeared.
Uphill and down dale, through woods and fields,
that incredible creature led me,
but here the trail vanishes.
These ripples lure me on,
enticing me into the lake,
inviting me to quench my thirst for hunting in the cool water.
My steps waiver,
l feel a strange longing,
my weapon falls from my tired hand.
The hunt has hardly begun, yet l tire already!
Once more l am overcome by a strange enchantment.
That was no doe. Stop, huntsman!
God protect your immortal soul!
Your heart is numbed by sorrow.
Whom did your arrow pierce?
The hunt is over, it's time to return to the castle.
This forest is bewitched.
An even more mysterious magic has entered my soul.
Go back home,
l want to be alone.
Divine vision, sweetest being,
are you human or a fairytale creature?
Have you come to protect that rare creature
l just glimpsed in the forest gloom?
Have you come to intercede on her behalf,
sister of the white doe?
Or, by coming to meet me,
are you offering yourself as prey?
What secret has sealed
your lips? Or has your tongue
always been silent?
But even if you cannot speak, l swear to God,
my kiss will wring an answer from them.
An answer to the mystery, which brought me here,
lured me through thorns
and over rocks,
until finally, on this day of bliss,
lovely child, l find myself enchanted by your gaze.
What is concealed in your heart?
lf you love me, give me some sign!
Sisters, one from our ranks is gone!
Dear sister, where have you gone?
Up hill and down dale, through the woods!
Where are you?
l know you're nothing but magic, and will fade away,
and be scattered in the rolling mists.
But while we still have time,
please do not flee, my fairytale child.
l'm done with hunting. What point is there in it now?
You are the most precious doe for me.
You are a golden star shining in the night.
My fairytale child,
come with me!
My fairytale child!
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