What would you sacrifice for happily-ever-after?

A water nymph falls in love with a human prince. A witch agrees to make her human – but the spell will break if she ever speaks.

Based on the classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, Dvořák’s lusurious 1901 masterpiece travels from a mythical forest to a palace and back again. With a world populated by water sprites and royalty, its glorious score includes the famous “Song to the Moon.” Don’t miss the Madison Opera premiere of our first opera in Czech.

Friday, April 26 at 8pm
Sunday, April 28 at 2:30pm
Overture Hall
Sung in Czech with projected English translations

Run time: 3 hours, including 2 intermissions

Music by Antonín Dvořák
Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil

Premiered 31 March 1901, Nationaltheater, Prague
Madison Opera Premiere


Emily Birsan

Madison Opera Debut: Barbarina, The Marriage of Figaro (2010)
Recently at MO: Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (2016); Opera in the Park 2016; Musetta, La Bohéme (2015)
Recently: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Welsh National Opera, Florentine Opera); Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro (Boston Lyric Opera); Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi (Chicago Opera Theater); Musetta, La Bohéme (Boston Lyric Opera)

Karin Wolverton
The Foreign Princess

Madison Opera Debut
Recently: Magda, La Rondine (Opera Santa Barbara); Jane Withersteen, Riders of the Purple Sage; Micaëla, Carmen (Arizona Opera); Mother, Hansel and Gretel (Jacksonville Symphony); Freia, Das Rheingold (Minnesota Opera); Mimì, La Bohéme (South Dakota Symphony, Tulsa Opera)

Lindsay Ammann

Madison Opera Debut
Recently: First Norn, Götterdämerung; Erda, Siegfried; Schwertleite, Die Walküre; Erda, Das Rheingold (Washington National Opera); Orfeo, Orfeo ed Euridice (Florida Grand Opera); Mrs. Quickly, Falstaff (Opera Omaha, Opera Saratoga); Rossweisse, Die Walküre (Lyric Opera of Chicago)

Upcoming: Olga, Eugene Onegin (Washington National Opera); Azucena, Il Trovatore (Central City Opera); La Ciesca, Gianni Schicchi (Metropolitan Opera)

John Lindsey
The Prince

Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2018
Recently: Cavaradossi, Tosca (Opera on the Avalon); Froh, Das Rheingold (Arizona Opera); Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Cincinnati Opera, Minnesota Opera); Lloyd the Bartender, The Shining (Minnesota Opera); Joe, La fanciulla del West (Des Moines Metro Opera); Jude, Salome (Opera San Antonio, Dallas Opera)
Upcoming: Jonathan Dale, Silent Night (Austin Opera)

Emily Secor
Water Sprite

Madison Opera Studio Artist
Madison Opera Debut:  Mrs. Nordstrom, A Little Night Music
Recently: Gretel, Hansel and Gretel; Nightingale, Country Lass, The Enchanted Child (University of Northern Iowa); Valencienne, The Merry Widow; First Lady, The Magic Flute; La Musica, L’Orfeo (Luther College)

Saira Frank
Water Sprite

Madison Opera Debut: Sagredo / Duchess Christina, Galileo Gallilei
Recently at MO:  Kitty Hart, Dead Man Walking
Recently: Tosca, Tosca (Painted Sky Opera, Pacific Opera Project); Sandman/Dew Fairy, Hansel and Gretel; Bloody Bonnie, Paranormal Playhouse; Bella Rose, The Good, The Bad, The Divas (Fresco Opera Theatre); Beauty, Beauty and the Beast (Opera for the Young)

Kirsten Larson
Water Sprite

Madison Opera Studio Artist
Madison Opera Debut:
Lola, Cavalleria Rusticana (2018)
Recently at MO:
 Mrs. Segstrom, A Little Night Music
Cousin Hebe, H.M.S. Pinafore (Madison Savoyards); Fox, The Cunning Little Vixen; Meg Page, Falstaff; Ilona Ritter, She Loves Me; Baba the Turk, The Rake’s Progress (Louisiana State University); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Louisiana State University, UW-Madison); Second Lady, The Magic Flute (UW-Madison); Celeste #1, Sunday in the Park with George; Carrie Pipperidge, Carousel (Middleton Players Theatre)

Benjamin Liupaogo

Madison Opera Studio Artist
Madison Opera Debut:
Remendado, Carmen (2017)

Recently at MO: Mr. Erlanson, A Little Night Music
Recently: Rodolfo, La Bohème (UW-Madison); Sam Kaplan, Street Scene; Pastore I, L’Orfeo (DePaul Opera Theatre); Tamino, Die Zauberflöte (German for Singers Middlebury); Candide, Candide (Opera Notre Dame); Yakuside, Madama Butterfly (Opera in the Ozarks); Herr Vogelsang, The Impresario (Chicago College of Performing Arts); Ferrando, Cosi fan tutte (San Francisco State University)

John DeMain

Madison Opera Debut: The Magic Flute (1994)
Recently with MO: Florencia en el Amazonas, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Carmen, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird
Recently: Porgy and Bess, Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Festival); Lost in the Stars (Washington National Opera); Show Boat (San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Porgy and Bess (Seattle Opera); Candide (Gran Teatre del Liceu)

Keturah Stickann
Stage Director

Madison Opera Debut
Recently: Norma (Opera Southwest); L’Orfeo ed Euridice (Florida grand Opera); Cold mountain (North Carolina Opera); Orfeo, La Traviata (Chatauqua Opera); Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Colorado); The Elixir of Love (Opera Birmingham); Moby-Dick (Dallas Opera)
Upcoming: Pelléas et Mélisande (West edge Opera)


  • Kay & Martin Barrett
  • Millie & Marshall Osborn
  • Sally & Mike Miley
  • Kato Perlman
  • The Ann Stanke Fund