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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Die Frau ohne Schatten, by Richard Strauss


Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest / Rotterdam / Music

Meant to be a latter-day Magic Flute, this elephantine Orientalist allegory equates sex with solipsism and love with parenthood. Many designers and directors have fallen on their faces attempting to realize its prodigious scenic demands. In a star-studded concert performance with the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has the luxury of ignoring the window dressing and concentrating on the sensuous tapestry of the score. Elza van den Heever sings the Empress, a fairy who longs to become human. Michael Volle takes the part of the penniless Barak, the total stranger from whom she learns what that might mean. —M.G.

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