Release date: 5/23/2014

San Francisco Opera's Historic 1976 Die Frau ohne Schatten
Featuring Leonie Rysanek and Led by Conductor Karl Böhm
Airs on KDFC Radio, Sunday June 1

Presented in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, San Francisco Opera’s 1976 production of Die Frau ohne Schatten, featuring soprano Leonie Rysanek and led by distinguished conductor and noted Strauss expert Karl Böhm, airs on the Bay Area’s classical KDFC on Sunday, June 1 at 8 p.m.  This “From the San Francisco Opera Archives” recording is presented as part of San Francisco Opera’s monthly radio broadcasts on KDFC, which can be heard on the FM dial at 90.3 (San Francisco, Los Gatos and Saratoga), 89.9 (North and East Bay), 92.5 (Ukiah-Lakeport), 104.9 (South Bay and Peninsula); on Comcast Cable 981; or online at

The historic performance, recorded live October 15, 1976 at the War Memorial Opera House, features a resplendent cast that includes Leonie Rysanek (the Empress); Matti Kastu (the Emperor); Walter Berry (Barak, the Dyer); Ursula Schröder-Feinen (Barak’s Wife); and Ruth Hesse (the Empress’s Nurse). 

The production marked the Company debut of one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, Karl Böhm, who leads the 91-piece San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in Strauss’ musically complex and mystical masterwork.  Maestro Böhm’s affinity for the works of Richard Strauss were long regarded as definitive interpretations, but he was particularly lauded around the world for championing Die Frau Ohne Schatten

San Francisco Opera gave the United States premiere of Die Frau ohne Schatten in 1959, and for the special occasion of the 1976 presentation, late San Francisco Opera General Director Kurt Herbert Adler brought in the young German director Nikolaus Lehnhoff to create a new production for the Company.  Lehnhoff’s success with Die Frau ohne Schatten led to his several returns to San Francisco Opera, most notably for the Company’s acclaimed 1985 Ring cycle.

San Francisco Opera’s radio broadcasts on KDFC air the first Sunday of each month at 8 p.m. and are hosted by popular KDFC radio announcer Dianne Nicolini, who offers lively introductions to each opera along with additional information and plot synopses.  San Francisco Opera radio broadcasts are also distributed nationally and internationally through a partnership with the WFMT Radio Network.  For further details and broadcast schedule, visit