Bard SummerScape to Present ‘The Silent Woman’

By Francisco Salazar

The Bard SummerScape festival is set to present R. Strauss’ “The Silent Woman (Die Schweigsame Frau),” the only true comic opera by Richard Strauss.

The production will be a rare American presentation of the work with the new production directed by German director Christian Räth. The director noted, “in my eyes, ‘The Silent Woman’ is first and foremost a declaration of love to the art of opera. This ‘woman’ is anything but silent, and even at the age of 87 feels surprisingly up to date. The exuberant eccentricity of the characters, as well as a rebellious and anarchic sense of humor, are what make this piece so appealing at first sight. But behind the brilliant surface of the farce, the opera also reveals a deeply human and emotional side. It’s a story of solitude, aging, and farewell, not only for the male protagonist, the misanthropist Sir Morosus, but also for the opera’s authors, Stefan Zweig and Richard Strauss, at the unsettling time of its creation. They make us experience the ways that joy and melancholy, the prosaic and the extraordinary, and the ephemeral and the eternal are all inextricably intertwined – in life as well as on the stage.”

Harold Wilson will head the cast which will also include David Portillo, Jana McIntyre, Michaela Martens, and Edward Nelson.

Leon Botstein will lead the production and the American Symphony Orchestra and Bard Festival Chorale

“The Silent Woman” will be present five times from July 22 to 31, 2022.