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Die Frau ohne Schatten

June, 2023

Die Frau ohne Schatten

By Richard Strauss
Don't miss this once in a generation opera experience!
This Strauss operatic masterpiece features a formidable cast of opera's finest stars.  
The San Francisco Chronicle proclaims this production as a "blockbuster success on every level"



June 4–28, 2023


Richard Strauss


Starting at $31

Run Time

Approximately 3 hours 47 minutes including two intermissions


Sung in German with English supertitles


Hugo von Hofmannsthal

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.

Pre-Opera Talk with Peter Susskind


Digital Program Book  Download

See a Performance

This once in a generation opera experience is a Strauss operatic masterpiece featuring a formidable cast of opera's finest stars.

The Buzz

"[NinaStemme'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

"The extraordinary San Francisco Opera production...was a blockbuster success on every level — musically, dramatically, visually and theatrically. It left the audience shaken and exhilarated for a variety of reasons."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"...yet another entry in the roster of [Sir Donald] Runnicles’ triumphal San Francisco appearances, a majestic display of sweep and expressive precision."
- San Francisco Chronicle


Out hunting with his favorite falcon, the Emperor of the Southeastern Islands captured a gazelle; she turned into a woman whom he married. Daughter of Keikobad, King of the spirits, she is a woman without a shadow—that is, unable to bear children. According to Keikobad’s decree, unless the Empress gains a shadow before the end of the twelfth moon she will be reclaimed by her father and the Emperor turned to stone.


Read Complete Synopsis

* San Francisco Opera Debut

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

Die Frau ohne Schatten can be found in our Archive.

Co-Produced by Los Angeles Opera and Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Original Stage Director John Cox.

Set construction by Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Costumes by the Los Angeles Opera Costume Shop and Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by Barbara A. Wolfe; Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson; Louise Gund; Bernard and Barbro Osher; and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.