Opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Libretto by Joseph Ferdinand Sonnleithner and Georg Friedrich Treitschke
In German with German and English surtitles. Duration 2 H. Introduction 45 min before the performance.
They were last to be seen as Elsa and Lohengrin on the stage of Zurich Opera House, and will now return to Zurich as Leonore and Florestan: South African soprano Elza van den Heever and German tenor Klaus Florian Vogt. At the centre of Andreas Homoki’s compelling Fidelio production is the strong and courageous Leonore, who insinuates herself into a state prison disguised as a man by the name of Fidelio in order to free her husband Florestan. Beethoven’s only opera was written over a ten-year period as a work in progress. It combines Singspiel elements with those of dramatic opera, and ends with a piece of music that not only lends prodigious expression to the idea of liberation, but also already anticipates the Ninth Symphony’s Ode to Joy. Andreas Homoki has removed the plot from its petit bourgeois, light opera context, telling the story in an abstract prison space and thus focusing on the utopian idea of universal brotherhood and global humanity that is at the core of Beethoven’s work. Simone Young, who has already conducted the Philharmonia Zurich in Wagner’s Lohengrin, will be at the rostrum for this revival.