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The Dvořák's tragic opera is familiar to all as a version of the story of The Little Mermaid. The story parallels Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairy tale, as well as reaching deep into Slavic mythology for its source material. Rusalka, a water nymph, can only embrace the man she loves in the form of a wave; She longs to be able to take him in her arms. Only by becoming mortal can she be real to her prince. The dark magic practiced upon her by the witch, Jezibaba, will come with a terrible risk: Damnation if the prince does not love her truly. The naive girl does not hesitate putting all her faith in the power of love and a human soul.
Each bead and charm of the Rusalka Opera Bracelet represents a character or moment from the work. Some of the most important beads and charms are described below and you can see all of the symbolic descriptions on the spiral chart in the photos or the story chart below. Also, a small version of the story chart accompanies every bracelet.
- Rusalka, the doomed water nymph begins as an iridescent aqua faceted bead… When she becomes human, it is the same bead in a clear finish... when she is cursed as a will-o-the wisp bludička, she is the same shaped bead in a frosty ashen color.
- Rusalka’s father Vodnik is a deep green iridescent bead; her sisters are smaller iridescent aqua beads.
- Green oval beads represent the spirited dryads.
- A frosted heart indicates Rusalka’s desire to love and be human, foreshadowing her fate.
- A gold crystal represents Rusalka's Prince. An ornate cloisonné heart bead symbolizes the love between the Prince and Rusalka.
- Deep blue beads and a luminous sea opal with a celestial heart charm represent the famous “Song of the Moon”.
- Ježibaba is a black opalescent bead; a dark heart symbolizes betrayal in love; a black bead Rusalka’s inability to speak;
- Grey crackle beads symbolize the dark magic at work and the inevitable curse that will fall.
- A large swirling bead indicates the transformation of Rusalka from a magical being into a human girl.
Other charms on the bracelet include:
- A mermaid (Rusalka)
- Footsteps (walking on land)
- A goblet (the magical brew)
- A dagger.