Daniela Köhler and AJ Glueckert to Lead Oper Köln’s Season Opening Premiere of ‘Die Frau ohne Schatten’

By Chris Ruel

On Sept. 17, Oper Köln will kick off its 2023-24 season with the premiere of R. Strauss and Von Hoffmansthal’s “Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow).”

Considered exceptionally demanding, and requiring a massive orchestra, the opera is a fairy tale that Strauss believed was his most important work.

The story relates the tale of an ethereal Empress who doesn’t have a shadow. In a world where shadows equate to fertility, the Empress’ lack of one means she is barren. The Empress has three days to find a shadow and enters the human realm to do so. Should she fail, her husband will be turned into stone.

Daniela Köhler leads the production as The Empress, with AJ Glueckert as The Emperor. Jordan Shanahan plays Barak, the Dyer, Lise Lindstrom performs as The Dyer’s wife, and Irmgard Vilsmaier sings the part of  The Nurse. Ensemble members include Giulia Montanari as Falcon et al., Insik Choi as The One-Eyed Man and Christoph Seidl as The One-Armed Man. The show is directed by Katharina Thoma, with stage design by award-winning Johannes Leiacker. Marc Albrecht will be on the podium.