Music by Antonín Dvořák


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What would you do if the only thing keeping you from your lover was everything?


Based on the same story that inspired The Little Mermaid, Rusalka is a heartbreaking tale of love and sacrifice. This operatic fantasy looks beyond the storybook world of happily-ever-after to expose truths that are powerfully and painfully human.

Production New to San Francisco Opera

Meet the Cast

Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil

Sung in Czech with English supertitles

See a Performance

Best Availability on Saturday, June 22

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours 39 minutes including two intermissions

Who Should See It

Fans of The Shape of Water, The Little Mermaid, Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Ondine, fantasy and the ballet Giselle.

Pride Night

Join us for a special Pride Night on Wednesday, June 19

Invite a Friend

Sunday 06/16/19 2:00PM *
Wednesday 06/19/19 7:30PM * Buy Tickets
Saturday 06/22/19 7:30PM * Buy Tickets
Tuesday 06/25/19 7:30PM Buy Tickets
Friday 06/28/19 7:30PM Buy Tickets

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* OperaVision, HD video projection screens featured in the Balcony level for this performance, is made possible by the Koret/Taube Media Suite.

The Buzz


“A powerful new production that is as thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly executed as one could wish.”
Chicago Tribune

“Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen was radiant in her Company debut as Eva."
San Francisco Examiner

“Tenor Brandon Jovanovich sang with ardor, tonal beauty and obvious fearlessness in the face of the role’s high-lying athleticism.”
San Francisco Gate


A water nymph's wish to be human carries a high price for her and the prince she loves.


Read Complete Synopsis >



Program Articles

Finding the Way to Rusalka

Having reached his late fifties, Antonín Dvořák refused to be the kind of aging man that William Butler Yeats would lament as “a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick.” Like Yeats, Dvořák knew time could condemn anyone to irrelevance. Read more.

Rusalka in the New World

Throughout his American sojourn (1892–1895) as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City, Czech composer Antonín Dvořák longed for his native Bohemia and channeled his homesickness into some of his most poignant and emotionally stirring music... Read more.

Czech, Please! An Interview with Radoslava Biancalana

In Prague today, one may stumble upon streets so quiet that you can hear your own voice at a whisper. Read more.


Cast and Creative

Rusalka Rachel Willis‐Sørensen
The Prince Brandon Jovanovich
Vodník (Water Goblin) Kristinn Sigmundsson
Ježibaba Jamie Barton
Foreign Princess Sarah Cambidge
First Wood Nymph Natalie Image
Second Wood Nymph Simone McIntosh
Third Wood Nymph Ashley Dixon
Forester Philip Horst
Kitchen Boy Laura Krumm
Hunter Andrew Manea
Solo Dancer Rachel Speidel Little
Solo Dancer Christopher Nachtrab


June 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 2019

Conductor Eun Sun Kim *
Production David McVicar
Revival Stage Director Leah Hausman
Set Designer John Macfarlane
Costume Designer Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer David Finn
Choreographer Andrew George
Chorus Director Ian Robertson

*  San Francisco Opera debut

A production of Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Previous performance of Rusalka can be found in our Archive


The Carol Buck Foundation; John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn; and Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Emerging Stars Fund; and Joan & David Traitel, through the Great Singers Fund; and Chevron.


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