Frederic Wake-Walker directs a striking new production of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.
Fidelio celebrates the power of love, courage and fidelity in music of heart-soaring beauty.
Held prisoner by the despotic Don Pizarro, Florestan faces a slow and inevitable death. Determined to save him, his wife Leonore devises a daring plan – one that puts not only Florestan but herself in gravest danger. Truth and goodness confront corruption and cruelty in an opera that reveals both the heights and the ugly depths of human nature.
Fidelio, with its stirring Prisoners’ Chorus, is a musical shout of fury and an impassioned cry of hope – still as powerful a political statement as it was during the French occupation of Beethoven’s Austria. It’s also a love story, celebrating not the thrill of first love, but the enduring, quiet devotion of marriage in music of transcendent beauty. Beethoven’s only opera is a masterpiece of moral courage, humanity and musical invention.
Frederic Wake-Walker directs a striking new production.
There will be a performance for schools of Fidelio on Tuesday 19 October.
The Glyndebourne Chorus
Chorus Director Aidan Oliver
The Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra
Leader Richard Milone
The new spoken text was conceived by Frederic Wake-Walker and written in collaboration with Peter Cant and Gertrude Thoma. Leonore’s poem was written specially for this production by Zoë Palmer.
James Bellorini, Trevor Goldstein, Bella Harrison, Rachel Partington, Addis Williams
* Soloist from The Glyndebourne Chorus
+ Jerwood Young Artist 2021
Photos by Richard Hubert Smith
Fidelio tells the story of people fighting for love and justice in a world that has systematically denied them of their agency. Leonore’s deep love for her husband Florestan, fuelled by their shared political convictions, is tested to the extreme as, under the iron grip of Don Pizarro, he is wrongly imprisoned and she decides to go undercover, calling herself Fidelio, and follow him into jail. Within these walls, Marzelline, daughter of the jailer Rocco, is pursued by the guard Jaquino but is instinctively drawn to Fidelio.
Fidelio accompanies Rocco into the basement of the prison where Florestan is being held in solitary confinement. They are ordered to dig a grave before Don Pizarro arrives to exact revenge on Florestan. On Pizarro’s arrival, Leonore reveals her true identity, challenging Pizarro’s perceived authority and demonstrating her undying love for Florestan.
André and Rosalie Hoffmann with a Syndicate and Circle of individuals
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Main image: Underworld (An Escape) © Tom Hammick. All rights reserved, DACS 2021