“That’s not her up there.” That’s what friends of Ana María Martínez keep saying.
The star of Lyric’s production of Dvořák’s Rusalka puts so much physicality and empathy into her portrayal, it’s as if Ana’s been left in the dressing room.
In the opera, Martínez’s water nymph possesses a deliciously rich soprano voice which confesses her love for a human—but it’s the fluidity of her movement that so completely delineates the predicament: she cannot occupy form; she is water. How can water express human love?
For all the popularity of Antonín Dvořák’s symphonies and chamber works, his operas are virtually unknown. This was Lyric’s first staging of Rusalka. For Ana María Martínez, it is a watershed role:
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Rusalka closes March 16. WFMT will re-broadcast the opening night performance in the summer of 2014.