11 March 2014 at 12.36pm | Comment on this article
It was a comic opera, not intended for the grand companies of Berlin, Munich or Vienna, with which Strauss's professional career had been associated, but for his grandson Christian’s school. Sadly Strauss died in 1949 before he could finish his tale, based on a satirical story by Christoph Martin Wieland of a hapless donkey whose shadow provides shelter from the sun for a Greek dentist. The sketches were later expanded, completed and orchestrated by Karl Haussner and the opera was performed in 1964 in Christian Strauss’s former school to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, whose 150th birthday we mark this year.
2014 sees the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’s birth. The composer will be celebrated at the ROH with stagings of Die Frau ohne Schatten (14 March-2 April) and Ariadne auf Naxos (25 June-13 July). Tickets for both are still available.