WEDO 1 • Fidelio
- 12 August 2009, 20:00
- 15 August 2009, 20:30
LUDWIG V. BEETHOVEN • Fidelio op. 72
In German with English surtitles
End of the concert on 12 August: approx. 11:00 p.m.
End of the concert on 15 August: approx. 11:30 p.m.
Print programme (PDF)
Beethoven’s Fidelio is almost always given as an opera
about liberation and the triumph of good over evil. Enough in the work
seems to justify that view, not least of which is that Florestan’s wife
finds her ways disguised as a boy into Pizarro’s dungeon and by a
combination of spunk and bravery interposes herself sublimely at the
opera’s climactic moment between her husband, the threatened Florestan,
and Pizarro’s weapon. The almost miraculous trumpet call that signals
Don Fernando’s fortunate appearance just as Pizarro is about to kill
Florestan adds to the final scene’s jubilant festivity when all the
prisoners are released and Beethoven’s excited music signals a new era
of the defeat of injustice. And yet, the opera is deeply problematic,
or so Beethoven seems to have felt. Three different versions of it
exist plus four different overtures. It was his only opera, the work on
which he lavished more time and effort than any other and, most
ironically, the work he felt he never could get absolutely right.
Edward W. Said (1999)