Ludwig van Beethoven


Frederic Wake-Walker directs a striking new production of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.

When her husband is unjustly imprisoned and sentenced to death, Leonore must risk it all to rescue him.

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.

Creative team

Ben Glassberg

Frederic Wake-Walker

Anna Jones

Lighting Designer
Peter Mumford

Projection Designer
Adam Young,
FRAY Studio

The Glyndebourne Chorus
Chorus Director Aidan Oliver

The Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra
Leader Richard Milone

Assistant Conductor
Olivia Clarke

Music Preparation
Matthew Fletcher
Ben-San Lau
Steven Maughan

Language Coach
Johanna Mayr

Assistant Director
Peter Cant

Staff Director
Lucy Bradley

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.

Cast includes

Gertrude Thoma

Gavan Ring

Carrie-Ann Williams

Callum Thorpe

Dorothea Herbert

Don Pizarro
Dingle Yandell

First Prisoner
Robert Lewis*+

Second Prisoner
Tom Mole*+

Adam Smith

Don Fernando
Jonathan Lemalu

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.

Supported by
André and Rosalie Hoffmann with a Syndicate and Circle of individuals

If you would like to discuss support, we would love to hear from you.

JOIN The Fidelio CIRCLE (FROM £5000+)

Deepen your involvement and gain an insider’s view of the creative process through exclusive events.

Find out more here or contact our Development Manager, Tanya Richardson at or call 01273 815419

 Please note that due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, all of these details are subject to change.

Main image: Underworld (An Escape) © Tom Hammick. All rights reserved, DACS 2021

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