Sat February 15, 2014
Met's "Woman Without a Shadow" @Noon
Richard Strauss scored "Die Frau ohne Schatten" for, count 'em, 164 instruments; the percussion alone include "glass harmonica, 4 timpani, 5 Chinese gongs, cymbals, snare drum, rute, sleigh bells, bass drum, tenor drum, big field drum, triangle, tambourine, 2 castanets, tamtam, whip (slapstick), xylophone, glockenspiel, bells, 2 celestas." Budgets alone would make performance rare, as do scenery challenges (like a golden waterfall and, we're not making this up, children singing out of a frying pan). Leave it to the Met to bring to life this fairy-tale opera, with a libretto by poet Hugo von Hoffmansthal, and you can hear the results live at noon today. Christine Goerke has had a career breakthrough in the title role, and conductor Vladimir Jurowski, says the New York Times, "drew a plush and surging account of Strauss's miraculous score."