(photo: unbekannt)

Musikfest Berlin

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

Vladimir Jurowski conductor

Torsten Kerl tenor (The Emperor)

Anne Schwanewilms soprano (The Empress)

Ildikó Komlósi mezzo-soprano (The Nurse)

Yasushi Hirano baritone (The Messenger of Keikobad)

Andrey Nemzer tenor (The Guardian of the Threshold)

Michael Pflumm tenor (The Apparition of a Youth)

Nadezhda Gulitskaya soprano (The Voice of a Falcon)

Karolina Gumos contralto (A Voice from Above)

Thomas J. Mayer bass baritone (Barak, the Dyer)

Ricarda Merbeth soprano (The Dyer’s Wife)

Christoph Späth tenor (The Hunchback, Barak’s brother)

Tom Erik Lie baritone (The One-eyed Man, Barak’s brother)

Jens Larsen bass (The One-armed Man, Barak’s brother)

Rundfunkchor Berlin

Benjamin Goodson chorus master

Kinderchor der Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin choir

Vinzenz Weissenburger chorus master

Richard Strauss

Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow), Opera in three acts, op. 65

A Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin event in co-operation with Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 01 Sep 2019, 18:00

Philharmonie | Introduction: 17:10

Online Sale


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culminated in concertante performances of all great Wagner-operas. Vladimir Jurowski, who bears artistic responsibility for the orchestra since 2017, takes this one step further with his Strauss-project. Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow), first performed 100 years ago on 10 October 1919 at Vienna’s Staatsoper, is seen by many as the pinnacle of Strauss’ operatic work, at least as far as his cooperation with Hugo von Hofmannsthal is concerned.

In this stage work, Strauss goes beyond Wagner in every respect: The fantastical subject does not refer to a single myth or mythical cycle but rather to the mythical or fairy-tale-like per se, and to the place that humanity finds within them. Both authors passionately contradict Wagner’s quintessential allegation that love can in fact not be truly lived. In this magnum opus, text and music find a complete connection: The music does not only keep up with the libretto’s free flights of fantasy, it often brings it back to earth. For long periods, the music speaks alone; symphony as a medium truly becomes part of the musical drama.

The score is highly differentiated and contains a multitude of musical colours. Strauss expertly plays on all available options, from the most delicate chamber music to roaring tutti-thunder. From near silence to the verge of explosion, he guides his work through all shades and luminous intensities. The composer’s brilliant mastery of the orchestra as an instrument was not only a result of his long experience, but also of a detailed study of Hector Berlioz’ writings on instrumentation, which he edited in a new version, with additional analyses of Wagner-works.

(photo: unbekannt)