Royal Opera House

Die Frau Ohne Schatten

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About the Show Less...

Director Claus Guth reveals the darker elements of Strauss’s exotic fairytale in a striking new production. Read More >

The Empress is half-mortal and does not cast a shadow. If she does not acquire a shadow in three days, she will be returned to the spirit world and the Emperor turned to stone. To what lengths will she go to avoid such a fate?

Die Frau Ohne Schatten (The Woman Without A Shadow) was conceived by Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal with the model of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in mind: a fairytale with a strong moral dimension. Although the narrative was largely Hofmannsthal’s invention, he drew on a diverse range of sources, from The Arabian Nights to Grimm’s fairytales. The opera was completed during World War I and received its premiere in 1919.

Die Frau Ohne Schatten is one of Strauss’s mightiest and most demanding scores. It draws on the resources of a huge orchestra that includes extensive percussion, an organ, thunder and wind machines, as well as a glass harmonica. Musical highlights include a tender, yearning duet for the dyer Barak and his wife, an impassioned solo scene for the Empress as she struggles to maintain her integrity rather than steal a mortal woman’s shadow, and the opera’s ecstatic finale. Claus Guth’s striking production emphasizes the dark undercurrents of Strauss’s opera and powerfully evokes the Empress’s plight as a woman trapped between two repressive worlds.

Sung in German with English surtitles

Booking opens on the 14th of January 2014

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Important Dates & Timing

Opening Night: 14/03/2014

Closing Night: 02/04/2014

Running time: 4h

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Cast & Creative

Creative

Director - Claus Guth

Designer - Christian Schmidt

Lighting Designer - Olaf Winter

Author - Richard Strauss & Hugo von Hofmannsthal

ABOUT Royal Opera House

Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom WC2E 9DD