Die Frau ohne Schatten

  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns


Die Frau ohne Schatten

Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)

From 07/04/2011 in Ghent - from 27/04/2011 in Antwerp

  • Alexander  Joel
  • Marco Arturo Marelli
  • Jon Villars
  • Marion Ammann
  • Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
  • Natascha Petrinsky
  • Musical direction: Alexander Joel
  • Director: Marco Arturo Marelli
  • Herinstudering: Enrico De Feo
  • Der Kaiser: Jon Villars
  • Die Kaiserin: Marion Ammann
  • Die Amme: Tanja Ariane Baumgartner / Natascha Petrinsky

Visually stunning opera fairy tale

Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal were very ambitious in presenting their very own Magic Flute in the form of Die Frau ohne Schatten. As in Mozart’s Magic Flute, there are two couples in this exceedingly symbolic opera. The exalted Emperor and Empress live in a dream world of love and hunting; the textile dyer Barak and his wife live a life of harsh reality. The central theme of the opera is acquiring a shadow, the symbol of fertility and humanity, a theme derived from oriental literature.

The Empress, daughter of the king of the spirits, Keikobad, descends from her exalted world into the human world to search for her shadow. If she is unsuccessful, her husband, the Emperor, will turn to stone. The human couple is childless too, but the dyer’s wife is willing to trade her shadow for material wealth. The Empress, who is aware of the high human price Barak and his wife are paying for relinquishing the shadow, ultimately abandons her contrary wish. Moved by Barak’s humanity, she gives up her dream.

It was not only Die Zauberflöte that inspired the composer and librettist to write an emotionally charged parable in the form of a fantastical, metaphorical fairytale, but also the Tales of 1001 Nights and the Byzantine empire. It is a parable about ordeals leading to true love, compassion and fundamental humanity. The symbiosis of a highly sophisticated, literary libretto and an impressive score brimming with symphonic brio makes Die Frau ohne Schatten a musical theatre highlight, which Strauss himself described as ‘the ultimate romantic opera’.

Duration: 19.00h - ca. 22.45h. Afternoon performances: 15.00h - ca. 18.45h.


Language: German. Surtitles: Dutch.

Tickets from € 10.00


The director Marco Arturo Marelli, an internationally renowned Richard Strauss opera specialist, translates the two worlds in Die Frau ohne Schatten into a society that is vanishing and one that is emerging – a world of the past and one of the future. The technically demanding main roles are performed by the American heroic tenor Jon Villars as the Emperor and, as Barak’s Wife, his compatriot Stephanie Friede, who is known for roles such as Minne in La Fanciulla del West at the Flanders Opera. The Austrian conductor Alexander Joel, who conducted last season’s Don Carlos with much verve, guides the Flanders Opera Orchestra through one of the most difficult scores in the history of opera.



Trailer Die Frau ohne Schatten
Warm-Up Die Frau ohne Schatten



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