Antonin Dvořák’s operas, while well-loved in Czechoslovakia, were almost completely unknown in the United States until recent years because they were often considered musically and stylistically confused. Rusalka, his most renowned opera in Czechoslovakia, did not premiere on the popular stage until the Metropolitan Opera’s production in 1993 which featured acclaimed Czech singer Gabriela Beneckova. After many mediocre reviews, it did not appear again on the Met stage until 1997 when Renee Fleming played the title role. This paper draws from press reviews to argue that Renee Fleming and her performance of the well-known aria “Song to the Moon” are responsible for the opera’s prosperity in the United States. It also hypothesizes that success can be achieved not only through a complete, well-produced work of art, but also in the ability of a leading lady to carry a production.
The Aria That Created a Legacy
Wells, Mackenzie L. (2018). The Aria That Created a Legacy. Excellence in Performing Arts Research Vol. 5 doi: 10.21038/epar.2018.0102. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/epar/vol5/iss1/aria-created-legacy
This paper won the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, 2017-18.