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    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