The Woman without a Shadow

funded by the Zero Fund

Project description

In what would normally be a typical music theatre production of “The Woman without a Shadow” based on Richard Strauss und Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, the Neuköllner Oper will use as an opportunity to test climate-neutral production methods for the future.

The opera itself addresses the complex matter of free choice with regard to starting a family. A new, reduced, chamber-musical version of the piece, directed by Ulrike Schwab, reflects on the theme of fertility in view of the contemporary issues of voluntary and involuntary childlessness. The emotional force of the singing is further contrasted by the way women today are confronted with their fertility. This is thematically explored by the juxtaposition of two unequal women – an empress and a dyer – who both share the unfulfilled desire for a child. References to current developments are also interwoven into the narrative, for example, the increasingly restrictive views on abortion rights.

In order to integrate climate-neutral production methods into the production practices on stage, the Neuköllner Oper has chosen to refrain from any aesthetic modification to the piece and rather focus on achieving transformation behind the scenes. The production team aims to reduce carbon emissions in the areas of travel, set design and rehearsals, e.g. largely foregoing international travel and providing musicians with tablets instead of print-outs of the musical scores. The management is also considering purchasing a solar-powered air conditioning system. The project is intensifying its collaboration with the transformation manager Diana Palm, who will evaluate the process and draw up corresponding guidelines for the future orientation of the theatre.


Neuköllner Oper e.V.

Karl-Marx-Straße 131-133
12043 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)