Sunday 6 August at 6.00pm on RNZ Concert
BBC Proms 2017
Beethoven’s only opera is a passionate musical protest against political oppression which premièred in the wake of the French Revolution.
A powerful tale of political oppression and female heroism, the work is the most famous example of the 18th-century ‘rescue opera’, which often featured a virtuous protagonist, saved from injustice and brutality
Fidelio was initially not well received, but its themes of liberty, justice and the triumph of the human spirit did resonate with audiences and the revised 1814 version was a great success and has been popular ever since.
As the opera opens, Florestan has been abducted and illegally imprisoned by Don Pizarro, Governor of the State Prison, whose arbitrary abuses of power Florestan had been trying to expose. His wife Leonore has disguised herself as a man and, under the name of Fidelio, has found work as assistant to Rocco, head jailer at the prison.
Stuart Skelton - Florestan
Ricarda Merbeth - Leonore
Brindley Sherratt - Rocco
Louise Alder - Marzelline
Benjamin Hulett - Jaquino
Detlef Roth - Don Pizarro
David Soar - Don Fernando
BBC Philharmonic conducted by Juanjo Mena
(recorded by the BBC, Royal Albert Hall, London)