Die Frau ohne Schatten - Bayerische Staatsoper (2014) - Die Frau ohne Schatten - Bayerische Staatsoper (2014)

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General Information


The daughter of the King of the Spirits has been floating in an in-between state since the human Emperor conquered her: She is neither a spirit nor a human. A woman without a shadow – which means a woman who is infertile. A threat hangs over the Empress and Emperor like a punishment for a great guilt: If she does not become fully human, he will turn to stone. Her panic-stricken search for a shadow, accompanied by her scheming nurse, takes the Empress to a woman who refuses her husband's advances. She is prepared to sell her shadow for the seductive promise of eternal youth. However, the prospect of the transaction does not make the Empress happy.

Inspired by Oriental fairy-tales and with an admiring glance at Mozart's Zauberflöte, the successful partnership of Strauss and Hofmannsthal created a puzzling, massive work heavy with symbolism and powerful sounds which constantly demands interpretation: is it wallowing in magical worlds whilst the old era is destroyed in the First World War? The pathway of trials taken by two couples on which the women overcome their own natures through subjecting themselves to the merciless law of renewal and decay? A study of the female psyche shortly after Freud's postulation of sexual neuroses? Or perhaps the spiritual voyage of a woman through her fears and guilt feelings at the end of which everyone comes together again on the threshold of the eternal father.


More information is available on the operahouse's official website


June 29, 2014 17:00:00

July 03, 2014 18:00:00

December 20, 2014 17:00:00

December 23, 2014 17:00:00

December 27, 2014 16:00:00


Johan Botha

Robert Dean Smith

Adrianne Pieczonka

Ricarda Merbeth

Deborah Polaski

Wolfgang Koch

John Lundgren

Elena Pankratova

Tim Kuypers

Christian Rieger

Matthew Peña

Samuel Youn

Sebastian Holecek

Renate Jett

Work's characters list

Der Kaiser/L’Empereur

Der Kaiser/L’Empereur

Die Kaiserin/L’Impératrice

Die Kaiserin/L’Impératrice

Die Amme/La Nourrice



Die Färberin/La Teinturière

Der Einäugige/Le Borgne

Der Einarmige/Le Manchot

Der Bucklige/Le Bossu

Der Geisterbote/Le Messager

Der Geisterbote/Le Messager