Die Frau ohne Schatten - Covent Garden (2014) - Die Frau ohne Schatten - Covent Garden (2014)

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General Information


New production

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.

More information is available on the operahouse's official website.


March 14, 2014 18:00:00

March 17, 2014 18:00:00

March 20, 2014 18:00:00

March 23, 2014 15:00:00

March 26, 2014 18:00:00

March 29, 2014 18:00:00

April 14, 2014 18:00:00


Claus Guth

Semyon Bychkov

Johan Botha

Emily Magee

Michaela Schuster

Johan Reuter

Elena Pankratova

Work's characters list



Der Kaiser/L’Empereur

Die Kaiserin/L’Impératrice

Die Amme/La Nourrice


Die Färberin/La Teinturière