The shadow of the empress : fairy-tale opera and the end of the Habsburg monarchy /

Publication Type:



Wolff, Larry,


Stanford University Press,, Stanford, California, United States, p.1 online resource (xiv, 435 pages) : (2023)

Call Number:




(OCoLC)fst01030492, (OCoLC)fst01046163, (OCoLC)fst01764186, 20th century., Austria, bisacsh, fast, HISTORY / Europe / Austria & Hungary., Kings and rulers in opera., Music and war., Music., Opera, Political aspects, Political aspects., World War, 1914-1918


Includes bibliographical references and index.Hofmannsthal's Viennese celebrity and Princess Zita's Habsburg marriage -- Emblems of imperial marriage : the golden apple, the silver rose, the human shadow, the dirigible balloon -- Descent from the imperial heights : Karl, Zita, and Hofmannsthal in Galicia -- Marriage and childbirth in the imperial dynasty and the fairy-tale opera : subterranean development and artistic collaboration -- "A traitor wind" : treachery in the opera and in the empire -- Hexentanz : the renunciation of motherhood and the assassination at Sarajevo -- Menschenblut : the sons of Adam and the outbreak of war -- "The shadow hovering in the air" : wartime propaganda, musical patriotism, and operatic collaboration -- "Spirit of the Carpathians" : military service, the preoccupations of wartime, and the trials of separation -- The empress at the threshold : the imminence of catastrophe and the last romantic opera -- Emperor Karl and Empress Zita : imperial motherhood and the pursuit of peace -- Departure from Schönbrunn : the end of the Habsburg monarchy and the rebirth of Austrian culture -- The emperor and the empress : in exile in Switzerland and on stage in Vienna -- Premiere 1919 : Die Frau ohne Schatten, the Märchenkaiser, and the Viennese critics -- Imperial afterlife : the politics of Hungarian Habsburg restoration and Austrian operatic repertory -- "The thread of past time" : imperial survivals and operatic variations in the 1920s -- Nazi Germany and Austrian Anschluss : political and operatic prospects in the 1930s -- The empress in America : escape from Nazi Europe -- The empress returns : Zita and Die Frau ohne Schatten after World War II."In 1919 the last Habsburg rulers, Emperor Karl and Empress Zita, left Austria and went into exile. That same year, the fairy tale opera Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow) had its premiere at the Vienna Opera. Viennese poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal and German composer Richard Strauss worked on Die Frau ohne Schatten through the bitter war years, imagining that it would triumphantly appear after the war to mark the victory of the German and Habsburg empires. Instead, the premiere came in the aftermath of catastrophic defeat. Strauss and von Hofmannsthal had turned emperors and empresses into fantastic fairy-tale characters; meanwhile, following the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy at the end of World War I, their real-life counterparts were removed from political life in Europe and began to be regarded as anachronistic, semi-mythological figures. This book explores how the changing circumstances of cultural production and reception before, during, and after World War I reshaped the political meanings of Die Frau ohne Schatten. Historian Larry Wolff's story of the opera's composition and performance history with a personal narrative of his Habsburg and Viennese family. Reflecting on the seismic cultural shifts that rocked post-imperial Europe, Wolff follows the real-life Emperor and Empress through the rise of Nazism, World War II, and the Cold War up until Zita's death in 1989, when she had herself become a fairy-tale figure"--Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on February 27, 2023).