Die Frau ohne Schatten

By Richard Strauss
June 4, 10, 20, 23, 28, 2023


Magic created her.
Humanity will save her.

Half-spirit and half-mortal, the Empress lives in fear of a curse: If she doesn’t acquire a human shadow in three days’ time, the spirit world will reclaim her—and turn her husband to stone.

Strauss’ rarely performed masterpiece returns for the first time in over 30 years in a vibrant production designed by acclaimed artist David Hockney. Former San Francisco Opera Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles conducts.

Meet the Cast

Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Sung in German with English supertitles


See A Performance


Approximately 4 hours including two intermissions

Why You Should See It

It’s a fairy tale spun from the same kind of dark magic and myth-making you can find in Pan’s Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, and Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.

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Sunday 06/04/23 2:00PM
Saturday 06/10/23 7:00PM
Tuesday 06/20/23 7:00PM
Friday 06/23/23 7:00PM
Wednesday 06/28/23 7:00PM


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The Buzz

Read what the press has said about the stars of the production.

"[Nina] Stemme's voice harkens back to a golden age of opera while simultaneously proclaiming her as a dramatic soprano built for the twenty-first century."
-Opera News

"[Johan] Reuter’s ardently phrased Barak was the musical heart of the Met’s 2013 revival of Die Frau ohne Schatten, a performance of genuine star quality."
-Opera News

"Camilla Nylund... outdid herself as the shadowless Empress, harnessing her liquid silver soprano for a powerful role debut."
-Opera News


Three days. That’s all that remains before a magical, shapeshifting empress is dragged back into the spirit realm—and her husband turned to stone. But there’s one way she can save them both: by gambling with a mortal woman’s future.

Read Complete Synopsis ›


Cast and Creative

The Empress Camilla Nylund
The Emperor David Butt Philip *
Barak's Wife Nina Stemme
Barak Johan Reuter *
The Nurse Linda Watson *


June 4, 10, 20, 23, 28, 2023

Conductor Sir Donald Runnicles
Production David Hockney
Stage Director Roy Rallo
Costume Designer Ian Falconer
Original Lighting Designer Alan Burrett *
Chorus Director John Keene

* San Francisco Opera Debut

Previous performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten can be found in our Archive.

LA Opera production

Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson; and Bernard and Barbro Osher.

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