Already brimming with symbols and transformations, the epic fairytale recounted by Strauss and his librettist Hofmannsthal in Die Frau ohne Schatten acquires a further allegorical dimension in Christoph Loy’s inventive production for the Salzburg Festival. The central character, the Empress – half-spirit, half-human, and unable to bear children until she finds a shadow – here becomes a young soprano who makes a voyage of personal and professional discovery as she records the opera. A superb cast fulfils the complex vocal and dramatic demands of the piece while Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic rise gloriously to the challenges of Strauss’s most ambitious and splendid operatic score.
The Emperor: Stephen Gould
The Empress: Anne Schwanewilms
The Nurse: Michaela Schuster
Barak, The Dyer: Michaela Schuster
Barak's Wife: Evelyn Herlitzius
Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Christian Thielemann 2011
Chorus master: Thomas Lang
Stage Director: Christof Loy
Plus: Thielemann rehearses 'Die Frau ohne Schatten': a documentary by Eric Schulz / Cast Gallery.
Sound: LPCM stereo / DTS 5.1 Surround
Region code: All regions
Running Time: 220+26 mins