Dvorak’s Rusalka

My costume design for Antonin Dvorak’s opera Rusalka (1900) is a modern take on Edwardian glassblowing. The art of glassblowing has manifested itself in glass bottles, today widely replaced by PET plastic bottles that pollute ocean water. I wanted to reflect on the issues of marine pollution and the misuse of plastic. Rusalka tells a well-known story of a mermaid falling in love with a human prince who eventually betrays her. The mermaid turns into a dark spirit and the prince, realizing his mistake, comes back to her and dies of her deadly kiss. Prince’s betrayal of Rusalka is a metaphor of humans polluting ocean waters with plastic without thinking about the deadly consequences. Each of the costumes I designed incorporates a 3d printed piece made of recycled PET plastic.

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