Video: Go Inside Rehearsals For Opera Orlando's Site-Specific RUSALKA

On stage March 8th and 9th, 2024.

By: Feb. 26, 2024
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Go inside rehearsals for Opera Orlando's site-specific production of Dvořák's Rusalka at the Art and History Museums of Maitland. Check out the all-new video.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Little Mermaid,” Dvořák's version is a deeply romantic tragedy of love, sacrifice, and rejection.

Taking its cues from the exquisite Mayan-inspired surroundings, this immersive production will transport its audience to the edge of a Florida everglade at the turn of the 20th century — a time when myth and legend still existed. The action of the opera unfolds throughout the property, creating an extremely intimate and magical musical experience.

“This isn't Disney's ‘Little Mermaid.' Rusalka is a beautiful, yet cautionary, tale about the consequences of desire, the cost of love, and an exploration of what true sacrifice means,” says Opera Orlando artistic director and Rusalka stage director Grant Preisser. “Being able to present this on site at the museums, and creating a new translation that is truly tailored to the site and the natural beauty of Central Florida, all set to Dvořák's ravishingly beautiful music has been such a satisfying experience. It will be quite a night of passion and romance, so bring a date and enjoy an evening of opera under the stars."

Making his Company debut and collaborating with Mr. Preisser on this new version of Rusalka is music director and pianist Bernard McDonald. Maestro McDonald has served as head of music and chorus master at Glyndebourne and Florida Grand Opera, and he has worked with and conducted with major opera companies around the world including New York City Opera, New National Theatre Tokyo, Netherlands Opera, Netherlands Radio Choir, and the Dutch National Opera Academy in Amsterdam and The Hague. He will be leading a cast headlined by Central Florida native soprano Shannon Jennings, making her Company role debut singing the swamp nymph Rusalka, and acclaimed tenor Isaac Hurtado, also making his Company role debut singing the Prince. Both artists were featured soloists earlier this season in the Opera's Summer Concert Series, and their chemistry is sure to be electrifying. Rounding out the cast will be veteran bass-baritone James Demler, making his Company debut in the role of Rusalka's father Vodník, and Opera Orlando favorite and Metropolitan Opera soprano Emily Pulley, who returns to sing the role of the mischievous witch Ježibaba, transforming Rusalka into a human but at a terrible cost. 

The production will travel throughout the museum property and runs approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes in three acts with two intermissions. Valet parking, pre- and post-show receptions with appetizers, wine, and desserts are included. Self parking is also available on site. 

How To Get Tickets

sung in English with no supertitles
Friday  |  March 8, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday  |  March 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Individual tickets are $149 for regular admission with only 40 VIP seats available for each performance at $169. VIP seats are located in the front four rows of the audience closest to the performance area. Purchase tickets online at or over the phone through the Opera Orlando box office at (407) 512-1900, ext. 0.