Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten from San Francisco Opera

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten from San Francisco Opera Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten from San Francisco Opera (SF Opera)

Saturday at 1 pm, tune in for a special archive broadcast of the 1976 production of Die Frau Ohne Schatten, starring Leonie Rysanek and led by noted Strauss expert Karl Böhm.

The historic performance, recorded live October 15, 1976 at the War Memorial Opera House, features a cast that includes Leonie Rysanek (the Empress); Matti Kastu (the Emperor); Walter Berry (Barak, the Dyer); Ursula Schröder-Feinen (Barak’s Wife); and Ruth Hesse (the Empress’s Nurse).

The production marked the company debut of one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, Karl Böhm, who leads the 91-piece San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in Strauss’s musically complex and mystical masterwork. 

The Empress's Nurse   Ruth Hesse
Spirit Messenger   James Johnson
The Emperor    Matti Kastu †
The Empress    Leonie Rysanek
Voice of the Falcon   Linda Roark
One-Armed man   Lorenzo Alvary
One-Eyed man   Joshua Hecht
Hunchback    John Duykers
Barak's wife    Ursula Schröder-Feinen
Barak     Walter Berry
First Servant    Claudia Cummings
Second Servant   Pamela South
Third Servant    Shirley Lee Harned
Apparition of a Youth   James Hoback
First Watchman   Paul Geiger
Second Watchman   Samuel Byrd
Third Watchman   Wayne Turnage
Children's Voice   Claudia Cummings
Pamela South
Linda Roark
Gwendolyn Jones
Donna Petersen
Alto Voice    Gwendolyn Jones
Guardian of the
Temple Gates    Claudia Cummings
Solo Voice    Gwendolyn Jones
Claudia Cummings
Pamela South
Linda Roark
Shirley Lee Harned
Donna Petersen

STAGE DIRECTOR:  Nikolaus Lehnhoff

San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus  

Comments [6]

Warren Jones from New York, NY

The mark next to Mr. Kastu's name indicates that this was his company debut at SF Opera. I was in the orchestra for those performances, playing celesta, and they were indeed fantastic. After some difficulties with the maestro, the final result was exceedingly exciting and needless to say, well-received by the public!

Sep. 29 2014 04:37 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama institute, Boonton, NJ

Now that I have heard the entire re-broadcasting of the performance which has just ended, I am more than ever convinced of the magnificence of the Oct 1976 performance of the FRAU which I believe I heard at its live broadcast.

Sep. 27 2014 04:06 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The dagger next to KASTU's name might indicate that that singer was the understudy covering for a singer who became indisposed OR that that person has since deceased. The latter assumption seems unlikely now because KARL BOEHM, LEONIE RYSANEK AND WALTER BERRY have all since deceased. They would have had to put daggers next vto each of their names as well. One of my voice teachers at the Manhattan School of Music, ADELINA ERNSTER, an operatic soprano before she started to teach, was the sister of the MET OPERA basso DESZO ERNSTER. She convinced him to hear me when he was in New York singing at the MET. After hearing me in person, DESZO ERNSTER secured for me an audition with Maestro KARL BOEHM at his hotel residence on Central Park West. BOEHM accompanied me at the piano in his music room at the hotel as I sang extended portions of the role of Walther von Stolzing for my audition. BOEHM advised me that the Wien Staatsoper for the following season had "kein vakanz" [no opening] for my "fach" [voice category]. Enthusiastically he said he'd back me up for the heldentenor roles when there would be the opening.

Sep. 27 2014 03:28 PM
CastaDiva from New Yok, NY

@Suzanne from New York
I'm guessing that it is meant to be a cross, signifying that the singer is deceased, and that it was inserted some time ago, when he was the only one of the cast that had passed away. Rysanek died in 1998, and some of the others may have since died, too.

Sep. 27 2014 03:13 PM
Suzanne from New York

Thank you for this wonderful broadcast. Such a strange and wonderful opera, with a great cast.
Why is there a dagger next to Matti Kastu's name in the cast list?

Sep. 27 2014 02:04 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

KARL BOEHM was indeed one of the landmark maestri in the Wagner oeuvre and in almost everything he conducted. LEONIE RYSANEK I remember with admiration for her entire career but especially for her MET OPERA debut as SENTA with GEORGE LONDON as the DUTCHMAN. WALTER BERRY was no slouch either with an impressive career in both German and Italian opera.

Sep. 27 2014 10:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.