The witty staging, engaging cast and efficiently evocative designs made a good opera feel like a great one...... For Bard’s delightful production, the director and set designer Christian Räth stages “Frau” as an opera about putting on an opera. Stagehands execute scene changes in full view of the audience, and Morosus’s single-word mantra, “Ruhe” (quiet), glows like an exit sign above the doors of his orderly home.
The real genius, however, is Räth, a director who really seems to understand what the music “means” and in particular how that can be used to clarify and illuminate the densely expressionistic storyline. He’s sensual when he needs to be sensual while turning dark and dangerous when the music indicates it. At every turn he senses the proper focus while encouraging his intelligent singers to act their socks off... He moves his pieces with immaculate timing and a real eye for the stage picture… Opera productions don’t get much better than this.
A native of Hamburg, director Christian Räth is renowned throughout Europe, Japan and the USA. His work takes him to many of the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Opéra national de Paris and the Royal Opera House London.
Current and recent productions include Strauss Die Schweigsame Frau (direction and set design) and Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane at the Bard Summerscape Festival 2019/22, Der Freischütz and Macbeth at the Wiener Staatsoper, Le Baron Tzigane at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, L’Italiana in Algeri in Portland and the direction and design of Kiss Me Kate for the Haut école de musique de Genève, in collaboration with the Théâtre du Galpon, Geneva. Plans include the world premiere of Woman with Eyes Closed by Jennifer Higdon, at Opera Philadelphia.
In 2021 Christian conceived and directed two unique historical events in Egypt – “The Pharaoh’s Golden Parade” celebrating the journey of 22 royal mummies through the city of Cairo, and the opening ceremony of the antique “Sphinx Road” at Luxor. Both productions involved more than a thousand participants and were broadcast worldwide.
News and Articles
Reviews for Christian Räth’s Die schweigsame Frau29 July 2022
Christian Räth directs US premiere of Korngold rarity at Bard SummerScape.30 August 2019
A magnificent Offenbach staging delights in Lyon24 June 2019
Brilliant staging marks the return of 'Falstaff' to the Teatro RealEl Pais 2 May 2019
Der Freischütz premieres in Vienna after a break of 19 yearsChristian Räth 12 June 2018
Christian Räth returns to Geneva with The Gypsy Baron8 January 2018
A fun and feisty trip through the woods with Hansel and Gretel in Seattle18 October 2016
Christian Räth brings the Italian Girl to Portland19 July 2016
Christian Räth's revisits Zambello's Ring for Washington National Opera29 April 2016
Christian Räth opens the Wiener Staatsoper season with Macbeth24 September 2015