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Strauss: “Incredible Pleasure”

27 JUN 2011

published in: Opera, General

Christian Thielemann, Photo: Bayreuther Festspiele
Christian Thielemann’s Salzburg opera debut: Die Frau ohne Schatten
Of course, it is something special” to conduct an opera by Festival founder Richard Strauss at that selfsame festival, says Christian Thielemann. Especially if that opera also marks one’s Salzburg opera debut. Thielemann is taking a sabbatical from Bayreuth this summer, conducting Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Salzburg Festival. The Vienna Philharmonic joins him in the orchestra pit.

Strauss, Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic – a combination that has made artistic history: Thielemann made his debut with the orchestra with the Alpensinfonie; he made his Salzburg debut with Heldenleben and conducted an all-Strauss program with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Festival in 2005, and is now looking forward to Die Frau ohne Schatten. To play Strauss with this orchestra is “an incredible pleasure, at such a high level,” says the Berlin-born conductor. He considers Die Frau ohne Schatten one of Richard Strauss’ main works: “This music is unsurpassed in its delicate structure. Here, he reached the summit of his operatic work.”

In conversation with Rainer Elstner, Christian Thielemann discusses his preparation of the score, his relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic and his time as Herbert von Karajan’s assistant in Salzburg.

Podcast: Christian Thielemann's "incredible pleasure" with Strauss