Der Frau ohne Schatten
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About the opera Der Frau ohne Schatten
Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) is an opera in three acts by Richard Strauss with a libretto by his long-time collaborator, the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It was written between 1911 and either 1915 or 1917. When it premiered in Vienna on 10 October 1919, critics and audiences were unenthusiastic (many cited problems with Hofmannsthal's complicated and heavily symbolic libretto). Today, the opera is considered by some to be Strauss's finest work in the genre, while others disagree.Read more on Wikipedia
Work on the opera began in 1911. Hofmannsthal's earliest sketches for the libretto are based on a piece by Goethe, â€œThe Conversation of German Emigrantsâ€ (1795). Hofmannsthal handles Goethe's material freely, adding the idea of two couples, the emperor and empress who come from another realm, and the dyer and his wife who belong to the ordinary world. Hofmannsthal also drew on portions of the Arabian Nights, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and even quotes Goethe's Faust. The opera is conceived as a fairy-tale on the theme of love blessed through the birth of children. Hofmannsthal, in his letters, compared it with Mozart's Magic Flute, which has a similar arrangement of two couples.