19 March 2014 at 12.40pm | 3 Comments
'Die Frau ohne Schatten is so powerful, but at the same time so full of beauty and so full of tenderness,’ says Semyon. 'It is of such complexity, that no one is able to grasp all of it at the first go, or at the second or at the third.'
The opera requires an enormous orchestra, featuring extensive percussion, an organ, a thunder machine, a wind machine and a glass harmonica, and part of the challenge of the conductor is allowing the intricacies of the score to be heard.
'In Die Frau ohne Schatten you have gigantic forces, and once in a while you do hear how gigantic they are,' says Semyon, 'but a lot of it is very intimate. It is quite astonishing - when you know how many artists are involved - just how tender it can sound; and it is extraordinary that Strauss had a brain that could conceive all of that and a heart to express it.'
Elena Pankratova as Barak's wife, Hubert Francis as Hunchback Brother, Adrian Clarke as One-Eyed Brother, Jeremy White as One-Armed Brother and Emily Magee as the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten © ROH / Clive Barda 2014
Die Frau ohne Schatten runs until 2 April. Tickets are still available.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Sir Simon and Lady Robertson, Hamish and Sophie Forsyth, The Friends of Covent Garden and an anonymous donor.