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Fidelio, Beethoven – Opera – Live

Mario Martone, Paolo Arrivabeni – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

A new production of Beethoven's Fidelio at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, directed for stage by Mario Martone and conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni.

Beethoven composed one opera, Fidelio. Characterised by the themes of love and justice, Fidelio results from a long and painful creative process. No less than nine years, for different versions of the overture, two librettists, and one complete reorganization of the whole structure where first needed before the composer achieved the version that is known and performed today.

Fidelio's premiere received a mixed reception. Yet, it seems that the orchestra was not good enough for the technical difficulties asked by the composer. Furthermore, the audience, mainly made up of French officers of the Napoleonic army occupying the Austrian capital city, was probably not the ideal audience for this work denouncing the illegitimate use of force and an arbitrary justice. Indeed, freedom and fraternity are the two main themes of this opera, in which a young lady succeeds thanks to her wit and love to free her husband unjustly incarcerated, and to overthrow a despotic governor. The final of Fidelio, putting magistraly into music these two themes, announce the Ode to Joy and the Ninth Symphony.

The Italian stage director Mario Martone here makes his début at the Liège opera theatre. A remarkable cast, starring Jennifer Wilson in the rôle of Leonore, gives life to the main characters of this hymn to freedom.

Argument of Fidelio.

Florestan is incarcerated, at the Governor Don Pizarro's request, in a prison in the surroundings of Sevilla for denouncing the abuses of the state. His spouse, Leonore, is determined to free him. Dressing up as a boy and calling herself Fidelio, she joins the prison's staff. A forthcoming visit by the Minister Don Fernando worries Don Pizarro. Something must be done. Florestan shall die. Leonore-Fidelio interposes herself between her husband and the Governor who is about to murder his political oponent. The providential apparition of Don Fernando, a righteous man, prevents at the last minute Florestan from being killed. The cruel Don Pizarro is condemned. Florestan is freed.

New coproduction Teatro Regio de Turin – Opéra Royal de Wallonie.

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Broadcast date : Feb. 6, 2014, 7 p.m.

Paolo Arrivabeni conductor
Mario Martone stage director
Sergio Tramonti set designer
Ursula Patzak costume designer
Nicolas Bovey lighting
Marcel Seminara chorus master

Jennifer Wilson (Leonore)
Zoran Todorovich (Florestan)
Franz Hawlata (Rocco)
Cinzia Forte (Marzelline)
Yuri Gorodetski (Jaquino)
Thomas Gazheli (Don Pizarro)
Laurent Kubla (Don Fernando)
Xavier Petithan (1st prisoner)
Alexei Gorbatchev (2nd prisoner)

Orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
Chorus of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

Movie director : David Mathy

Location : Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège (Liège, Belgium)
Production date : 2014
Production : Oxymore / Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège / Jim & Jules. With the participation of France Televisions.

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