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©Stan Hema / Opera Fidelio / Beethoven

Beethoven Fidelio

From 25 November TO 30 November 2022
Deutsche Oper - Berlin
Program

Beethoven : Fidelio

Cast
  • Conductor
    Donald Runnicles
  • Director
    David Hermann
  • Performers
    Leonore: Ingela Brimberg
    Florestan: Robert Watson
    Don Pizarro: Markus Brück
    Rocco: Tobias Kehrer
    Marzelline: Elisa Verzier
    Jaquino: Ya-Chung Huang
    Don Fernando: Christoph Lehmann
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Deutsche Oper - Berlin Location Bismarckstrasse 35 - 10627 Berlin Allemagne

  • Venue's Capacity: 1859

Contrary to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden which was founded in the eighteenth century in the centre of town and for a long time considered the Royal Opera, the history of the Berlin Opera began in 1912, in the Charlottenburg neighborhood situated outside the city limits, and intitiated by the rich bourgeoisie. But the inevitable occured, following the economic crisis of World War I, and the Charlottenburg Opera was ultimately purchased by the City of Berlin.

Bruno Walter greatly improved the musical qualities of this institution which was rebaptized the Städtische Oper (City Opera). Prior to that, Carl Ebert, as administrator (with Rudolf Bing, the future legendary director of the MET in New York, as assistant), promoted more modern music, including those operas by Kurt Weill or Schreker which Klemperer could no longer perform at the then-closed Kr oll-Oper, and which provoked the ire of the Nazis as early as 1933. In 1945, the building was left in ruins, but by the month of August 45, the company presented FIDELIO at the « Theater des Westerns » and animated that theatre until 1961. During this period, the conductor Ferenc Fricsay, named music director, enabled the Städtische Oper to regain its international ranking, alternating standard repertoire in top-quality productions (where voices such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau or Josef Greindl were discovered), works by Stravinsky and Hindemith (who were banned by the Nazis), and world premieres. But in 1955, the Opera Unter den Linden, situated in East Germany, reopened under the name of the Deutsche Staatsoper. Under the influence of this politico-artistic competition, three decisions were made : the Städtische Oper was rebaptized the Deutsche Oper Berlin, plans were made to construct a theatre at the Charlottenburg site (situated in West Berlin), and Carl Ebert who, in the mean­time founded the Glyndebourne Festival, was called back. His productions and season programmes turned West Berlin into one of contemporary opera's main capitals.

Deutsche Oper

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Fidelio

FIDELIO, BEETHOVEN'S ONLY OPERA

Premiering as a three act opera in 1805, This opera went through several re-writes before its composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, settled on the final, version in 1814, reduced to a performance in two acts.
A German language opera which featured spoken dialogue as well as song, the opera premiered in Vienna, while the city was under French military occupation, at the Theater an der Wien. With French military officers the main audience, Beethoven struggled to find success with his story of politics, sacrifice and struggle until the third incarnation of the opera was performed at the Kärntnertortheater on 23 May 1814, with a young Franz Schubert in the audience.

THE HISTORY

Set in and around a state prison near Seville, Spain, in the late 18th Century, the story follows the plight of Florestan, a prisoner nearly starved to death, until his wife Leonore launches an audacious plan to free him, turning up at the prison dressed as a young man seeking work, where she is hired by the prison's chief guard, Rocco.

Act 1

The action begins in the prison, two years after Florestan's incarceration. Leonore is working as Rocco's assistant, disguised as a boy named Fidelio. We learn that Rocco's daughter, Marzelline, is in love with Leonore in disguise and wishes to marry him.
Rocco's assistant Jaquino is in love with Marzelline too. We also learn that Florestan is being hidden in a dungeon in the basement, where his enemy, the tyrant Pizarro, plans to kill him later that day. Rocco and Leonora set the prisoners free in the yard, where they are so overjoyed by their new found liberty that they burst into song. Pizarro arrives and the prisoners are ushered back to their cells.

Act 2

Rocco and Leonora in disguise again arrive at Florestan's cell to dig his grave before Pizarro is due to arrive to kill him. Here they sing a duet. Leonora recognises her starved and beaten husband, who begs Rocco for a drop of water, which he is given, but he does not recognise he. Pizarro arrives to kill Florestan and Leonora hides, leaping between Pizarro and Florestan when he brandishes a dagger, threatening to shoot him. Jaquino arrives to tell Pizarro a minister has arrived to see him, Rocco reveals Pizarro's murder plot, and he is taken away to prison. Leonora and Florestan sing a love duet, before she releases him from his chains, and is praised in song by the townsfolk, in front of a shocked Marzelline.

THE MAIN ROLES

Florestan, a prisoner, tenor
Leonore, his wife, soprano
Rocco, a guard, bass
Marzelline, his daughter, soprano
Jaquino, assistant to Rocco, tenor
Pizarro, governor of the prison, bass-baritone
Fernando, the King's minister, bass
Two prisoners, tenor and bass
Soldiers, prisoners and townspeople, assorted chorus.

Deutsche Oper Berlin im Saal © Günter Karl Bose

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