Composer Ludwig van Beethoven

Thursday, 13. May 2004
07:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Duration est. 3 hours · 1. Akt (est. 07:00 pm - 08:25 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:25 pm - 08:55 pm ) · 2. Akt (est. 08:55 pm - 10:00 pm )

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Musikalische Leitung
Adam Fischer
Inszenierung und Bühne
Peter Mussbach
Andrea Schmidt-Futterer
Konrad Lindenberg
Andrés Máspero

Don Fernando, Minister
Martin Gantner
Don Pizarro
Jukka Rasilainen
Robert Gambill
Barbara Schneider-Hofstetter
Kurt Moll
Aga Mikolaj
Ulrich Reß
1. Gefangener
Kevin Conners
2. Gefangener
Steven Humes
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Beethoven's only opera! A hymn to aspiration and freedom: Florestan is a political prisoner hurled into in a dungeon. His wife Leonore disguises herself as a young man, assumes the name Fidelio and takes a job in the prison. Will she succeed in liberating her husband? High tension all the way to the last second. Then: a trumpet call! Liberation! Jubilation.


Act One

Don Pizarro, the despotic governor of a state prison near Seville, is in the habit of holding his political enemies prisoner at his mercy. One of these enemies is Don Florestan, who has publicly accused the governor of abusing the power of his position. Leonore, Florestan's wife, suspects that her husband is being held prisoner by Pizarro and so, disguised as a man and calling herself Fidelio, she gets a job as assistant to Rocco, the chief jailer.

Marzelline, Rocco's daughter, has fallen in love with Fidelio and rejects the suit of Jaquino, the jailer who has been courting her for years. Rocco also now seems to prefer the idea of Fidelio, who is much cleverer than the simple Jaquino, as a son-in-law and gives his approval of his daughter’s decision.

Pizarro receives an anonymous letter warning him that the King's minister, Don Fernando, plans to come and inspect the prison. It has come to his ears that political prisoners are being unlawfully held there. Pizarro immediately posts a trumpeter to keep watch and warn him of the minister's approach so that he has time to do away with Florestan before the minister arrives at the prison. Pizarro instructs Rocco to kill Florestan, but the latter refuses and the governor determines to do the job himself, ordering Rocco to dig a grave in Florestan's cell.

Leonore, who has overheard this conversation between Pizarro and Rocco, is determined to rescue Florestan; she plans to search for him among the prisoners and set him free. She pleads with Rocco to allow the prisoners to take exercise in the prison yard but is unable to discover her husband among them. She then persuades Rocco to take her with him into the dungeons, where the suspects Florestan is being held.

Pizzaro appears and angrily orders the prisoners to be hustled back to their cells but refrains from punishing Rocco for acting without orders because of the latter's involvement in the plot to murder Florestan.

Act Two

Florestan is bewailing his fate in a dungeon and on the verge of hallucination, so to speak, as he sees the image of Leonore in his mind's eye.

Rocco, followed by Leonore, comes in to dig the grave. Horrified, she recognises her husband. When Rocco gives the agreed signal, Pizarro arrives to kill Florestan. Leonore reveals herself as Florestan's wife and is able to prevent the murder by courageously stepping between her husband and Pizarro as he draws his dagger, just as the trumpeter gives the signal announcing the arrival of the minister.

Don Fernando, who has believed his friend Florestan dead, sets him and all the other prisoners free and Pizarro, the tyrant, is arrested to await his just punishment.

Translation: Susan Bollinger

© Bavarian State Opera

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Adam Fischer, geboren in Budapest, studierte in seiner Heimatstadt und in Wien Komposition und Dirigieren. Nach Stationen in Graz, Helsinki, Karlsruhe und Freiburg i. Breisgau war er von 1987 bis 1992 Generalmusikdirektor in Kassel, von 2000 bis 2005 in derselben Position am Nationaltheater Mannheim beschäftigt. Seit 1998 ist er Chefdirigent des Danish National Chamber Orchestra in Kopenhagen. Zudem ist er Principal Conductor der Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. Er dirigiert regelmäßig an den größten Opernhäusern in Europa und den USA. Konzerte gab er u. a. mit den Wiener Philharmonikern, dem London Philharmonic Orchestra und dem Boston sowie dem Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 1994 debütierte er an der Metropolitan Opera, 2001 bei den Bayreuther Festspielen. Besonders verbunden ist er der Wiener Staatsoper, dem Operhaus Zürich und der Bayerischen Staatsoper. (Stand: 2019)

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