New season

Die Frau ohne Schatten

Richard Strauss

A fascinating and complex work born of the fruitful collaboration between Strauss and his librettist Hofmannsthal, this Frau calls for an exceptional artistic team of the calibre assembled here.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Yannick Nézet-Séguin © Hans van der Woerd
Lise Lindstrom
Lise Lindstrom © Rosie Hardy


Lise Lindstrom The Dyer's Wife
Michaela Schuster The Nurse
Elza van den Heever The Empress
Stephen Gould The Emperor
Michael Volle Barak, The Dyer 
Katrien Baerts The Voice of a Falcon
Bror Magnus Tødenes The Apparition of a Youth
Andreas Conrad The Hunchback
Michael Wilmering The One-eyed Man
Thomas Oliemans The Messenger of Keikobad
Nathan Berg The One-Armed Man

Yannick Nézet-Séguin direction
Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus
Maîtrise de Radio France direction Sofi Jeannin

Sung in German with French and English subtitles

Approximate running time
1st part: 1h10 - Intermission: 20mn - 2nd part: 1h05 - Intermission: 20mn - 3rd part: 1h05

Building on the collaboration which produced the masterpieces Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier and Ariadne auf Naxos in the space of just a few years, Strauss joins forces once again with his favourite librettist, the poet Hofmannsthal, for a new operatic venture in a similar vein to The Magic Flute. The heroine is an immortal whose inability to bear children is symbolised by her lack of a shadow. She can only become truly human and give birth if she relinquishes her immortality. Strauss expresses this dilemma in a singspiel in which two couples, one immortal and the other mortal, reveal themselves on an initiatory journey littered with obstacles. The work blends fantasy and tragedy in order to highlight an intensely humanist message of solidarity. Composed during the very darkest days of World War I, The Woman without a Shadow is unprecedented in operatic terms for its expression of the workings of barbarity, whilst envisaging a positive outcome for a world in mourning. The intelligence and richness of the libretto, expressed in dazzling symphonic and vocal writing, make this one of the most mysterious and appealing works penned by the Strauss-Hofmannsthal duo.

Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
France Musique broadcasts this concert on 18 April 8pm