Rusalka: A Mermaid's Tale

By Opera for the Young

Directed by Diane Garton Edie, Jeffrey Sykes

Adapted from Czech to English and from forest glen to coral reef, OFY brings Dvorak's lush music and the story of a little mermaid to life. Rusalka yearns to become human, because she's in love with the Prince. Rusalka's father, the Sea King, warns her about people, but the mermaid goes to the Sea Witch for a magic spell. Rusalka exchanges her fish tail for legs at a price: she won't be understood by humans. This proves to be a challenging barrier for the Prince who, after bringing Rusalka to his castle, is pursued by a Foreign Princess. Complications abound, aided and untangled by Creatures of the Reef, portrayed by the student chorus. Understanding and accepting difference is a powerful subject highlighted in this tale of magical romance, loss, and the redemptive power of love. Students throughout the Midwest participated in OFY’s annual design contest, contributing ideas for the professionally designed “castle interior” set and the Sea King’s form and costume.

Produced by Opera for the Young at schools across the upper midwest,

Performances: January 15 - November 6, 2010

Performance Times: check for performance dates and times. All shows are free unless noted otherwise

Free admission

Call 608-277-9560 for reservations or more information.

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Auditions will be held on the following days:


Opera for the Young is a professional touring company based in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2010, we will perform approximately 175 shows in elementary schools throughout the upper Midwest. Our version of Rusalka is a 45-minute adaptation set at the seashore. Each role will be triple cast: soprano — Rusalka, a mermaid; dual role for mezzo-soprano — Jezibaba, a sea witch, and the Foreign Princess; tenor — Prince; bass baritone — Sea King. The cast also includes three coach/accompanists. Cast members drive the tour van, load and unload set pieces, train student performers, and field audience questions. There are typically two shows per day/7-10 shows per week. Compensation is $52-$55 per show plus $27.00 per diem and lodging while on tour. Each artist receives lodging and $350 for the 7-day rehearsal period in early January. The tour runs mid-January-mid May, and again in October and November, 2010.

Auditions: March 19-20 Evanston, IL (Lake St. Church, 607 Lake St.)
March 22 Madison, WI (First Baptist Church, 518 N.Franklin St.)

1. A note with your address, telephone, and email, specifying the city in which you would like to audition.
2. Your resume and photo, unless they are on file with Opera for the Young.
3. A $15 application fee (for materials, ac-companist, and related expenses) payable to Opera for the Young.

We will send you:
1. An audition time
2. Excerpts from Rusalka for you to prepare

Please also prepare:
1. A non-Rusalka opera aria from the late 19th or early 20th century in original language
2. An English language art song or opera aria (no musical theatre, please).