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Thu, 28. Jan 2021, 19:30

Opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven

Disguised as a man, Leonore finds work in a prison near Seville, where she suspects her husband Florestan is being held. Missing for two years, he has been unjustly incarcerated by Governor Pizarro in the deepest dungeon. Leonore exceeds her own expectations and carries out a courageous rescue. »I will achieve it with love«, she sings until she is at last reunited with Florestan in »boundless joy«.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera was inspired by a French libretto »Leonore ou L’amour« by Jean Nicolas, written in the late 18th century and based on a true story. Pierre Gaveaux had already set this play to music for a stage work in Paris. Beethoven’s path to his final score was long. In 1805 and 1806, he presented his opera at the Theater an der Wien to an unenthusiastic response, only to restage it in 1814 at the Kärntnertortheater in a thoroughly revised form. Beethoven’s »Fidelio« went on to become one of the central operatic works of the Classical period in the German-speaking world and beyond, with its rounded characters and impressive, memorable moments. These include the great arias of Leonore and Florestan, the trumpet fanfare announcing Florestan’s rescue, the mood of the prison chorus that wavers between hope and fear, and the grandiose and joyful finale »O what a moment!«

approx. 2:45 hrs including one interval after act 1