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Fidelio © Bernd Uhlig

Beethoven Fidelio

From 06 May TO 24 May 2020
Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin
Program

Beethoven : Fidelio

Cast
  • Conductor
    Simone Young
  • Director
    Harry Kupfer
  • Performers
    Leonore: Michaela Kaune
    Florestan: Simon O'Neill
    Don Pizarro: Wolfgang Koch
    Rocco: Falk Struckmann
    Marzelline: Narine Yeghiyan
    Jaquino: Florian Hoffmann
    Don Fernando: Roman Trekel
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis
  • Videos

Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin Location Unter den Linden 7 - 10117 Berlin Allemagne

The Venue's History in few words …

When the opera house situated on the Lindenallee was inaugurated in 1742, Frederick the Great intended to turn it into the cultural symbol of his ideal capital, the hub of the "Forum Fridericianum." This "enchanted palace," as the enlightened despot called it, is one of the rare vestiges of the old city still visible today, and a large part of German musics cultural heritage is contained within its walls. The Berlin Staatskapelle, for example, the orchestra connected with the opera, was founded in 1570 and the list of its permanent conductors includes names such as those of Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Furtwangler, Klemperer and Karajan! During the 19th century, the Berlin Opera remained a royal opera, where Weber's FREISCHUTZ was premiered. The activities of the Berlin Staatskapelle developed under Spontini's responsability, the first "Preussischer Generalmusikdirektor," ever appointed. This goes to show the importance of the ensemble in German musical life at that time, an importance which constantly grew, especially after the "Sinfonie-Soireen" were created in 1842, open to the public by subscription.

In 1919, the Royal Opera became a state opera, and played an active role in the exhuberant artistic activity that rocked Germany during the twenties: Erich Kleiber presented Berg's WOZZECK and popular harmonies of composers such as Kurt Weill resounded in this shrine of the lyrical repertoire, until Nazism cut short a period of intense creativity. During the war, Karajan forged his reputation in the theatre, until bombs destroyed the building, partially in 1941, and completely in 1945.

Because of its geographical situation, the Staatsoper became, in 1949, the Opera of East Berlin. In 1955, the East German administration reinstalled the company in its illustrious hall, rebuilt along the original plans, and one could soon applaud singers such as Peter Schreier and Theo Adam on its stage, musicians who helped create a truly Eastern German singing tradition.

Since the German reunification, the institution has been completely reorganized, especially under the impetus of Daniel Barenboim, who became its General Music Director in 1992. Proud of its impressive history, the present day Opera Unter den Linden hardly neglects its baroque beginnings, and it henceforth counts amongst those that most often produce pre-Mozartian lyrical works, such as CLEOPATRA E CESARE by Graun which opened the Opera's first season in 1742. But the house also commissions works by Pierre Boulez, while defending the traditional repertoire, in which Wagner occupies a large place. By thus juxtaposing tradition and innovation, the Opera Unter den Linden has become one of the institutions most representative of Berlin's new dynamism.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

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.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

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