Rusalka (Czech) is an opera ('lyric fairy tale') by AntonГn DvoЕ™ГЎk. The Czech libretto was written by the poet Jaroslav Kvapil (1868-1950) based on the fairy tales of Karel JaromГr Erben and Bogena Nemcova. Rusalka is one of the most successful Czech operas, and represents a cornerstone of the repertoire of Czech opera houses. A Rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology, usually inhabiting a lake or river.DvoЕ™ГЎk had played viola for many years in pit orchestras in Prague (Estates Theatre from 1857-59 while a student, then from 1862-71 at the Provisional Theatre). He thus had direct experience of a wide range of operas by Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Lortzing, Verdi, Wagner and Smetana. Rusalka was the ninth opera he composed.