Kids Discover the Czech Opera "Rusalka"

Palisades Library

Kids Discover the Czech Opera "Rusalka"

Opera is surely not something that kids think about every day. But on November 2, the kids at Palisades Library got a taste of Czech opera in a program designed after Rusalka. Participants heard the story of Rusalka, the water nymph, and her quest to become human and gain the love of a prince. They then chose a character from the story and created a shadow puppet. It was difficult, as they had to imagine what a water nymph would look like.

A Rusalka puppet gets a whirl in the shadow theater.After completing the puppets, the kids saw multiple images of various characters in the story such as the Prince, the foreign princess, Jezibaba the witch and Rusalka herself. We hope it gave the kids an idea of how many different ways one character can be imagined in different productions of the same opera.

One participant was so excited by the opera that she decided to put on a puppet show telling the story of the opera to her older sister and friends. She did a wonderful job manipulating the puppets. She created water for the shadow theater, and had Rusalka sink beneath the waves at the end of the opera when the prince dies.

It was a wonderful interpretation of the opera. We truly enjoyed the enthusiasm of the participants.
-- by Jess Stork