Strauss Die Schweigsame Frau Bard Summerscape 2022 (detail) View full image

Christian Räth


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 New York Times (Critics Choice), Die Schweigsame Frau, Bard Summerscape

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.

Musical America, Das Wunder der Heliane, Bard SummerScape

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.

Recent new productions include Strauss Die Schweigzame Frau 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 and a return to Bard Summerscape in 2024.

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.

Strauss: Die Schweigsame Frau, Bard SummerScape, 2022

Korngold: Das Wunder der Heliane, Bard SummerScape, 2019

Weber: Der Freischütz, Wiener Staatsoper, 2018

Strauss: The Gypsy Baron, Grand Théâtre de Genève, 2017

Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri, Portland Opera, 2016

Verdi: Macbeth, Wiener Staatsoper, 2015

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta, The Dallas Opera, 2015

Verdi: King for a Day, Glimmerglass Festival, 2013

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, The Dallas Opera, 2012

5 publicity photos