‘Die Frau ohne Schatten’ at Wiener Staatsoper

This October, Elza van den Heever returns to the Wiener Staatsoper in one of her new signature roles: the Empress in Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten. This comes on the heels of her resounding success in the role during the previous season’s performances at the Easter Festival Baden-Baden.

In 2020, Ms. van den Heever made her debut in this role, earning resounding acclaim while performing alongside the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under the masterful baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Such was her artistry that Bachtrack wrote:

“The Empress presented no technical hurdles for soprano Elza van den Heever. She had the agility and lightness for her first scene, when the young bride is so insubstantial that “light passes through her as if she were made of glass”, and the fullness and shine required in the rest of the role. To soar in this high-lying music with such consistent quality is no mean feat, especially considering that Van den Heever was making her role debut during this mini-tour, of which Rotterdam was the third and last stop… In her emotional intensity, surrounded by the sonic theatre conjured up by Nézet-Séguin, she was as white-hot as her high notes.”

Originated for the Wiener Staatsoper in 2019, Vincent Huguet’s production of the distorted fairytale boasts an exquisite stage design meticulously crafted by Aurélie Maestre. The evocative atmosphere is further enhanced by the minimalist yet striking costume designs by Clémence Pernoud, while Bertrand Couderc’s masterful work in light and video design adds a mesmerizing visual dimension to the production.

Under the baton of Christian Thielemann, Ms. van den Heever graces the stage alongside a stellar ensemble, including Andreas Schager as the Emperor, Tanja Ariane Baumgartner as the Nurse, Michael Volle as Barak and Elena Pankratova as Barak’s wife, and Clemens Unterreiner as Spirit Messenger. Christian

The performances are scheduled for October 14, 17, 21, and 24.

Photo: Jiyang Chen