Chor und Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Donald Runnicles, conductor
Three versions and four overtures of Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio” have been handed down. In a concertante performance, soloists, choir and orchestra of Deutsche Oper Berlin, conducted by their Music Director Donald Runnicles, will present the original version, “Leonore”.
Is the first idea the true one, is the first bold, artistic approach the most convincing one? Looking at the history of the origins and performances of Beethoven’s only completed opera “Fidelio”, the answer to these questions would be no. Two titles (the initial title was “Leonore”), three versions, four overtures: It seems like a laboratory in the literal sense of the word, like great labour, or, as the composer said, like an ordeal. In the meantime, Beethoven also called the opera a "ruin" or "a stranded ship“. But the reasons for the lukewarm responses to the first performances of the original version, which motivated Beethoven to rework the score, can be seen as largely political: Vienna was dreading Napoleon’s invasion, Beethoven’s most eminent supporters had left the city and the opera’s theme and idea were French.
In a concertante performance, soloists, choir and orchestra of Deutsche Oper Berlin, conducted by their Music Director, will present the original version. It is only rarely performed, even though it contains many beautiful elements that vanished from the final version. Maybe in art, the baby is not necessarily thrown out with the bathwater of the first version, but some of its toys often are.
Flurina Stucki soprano (Leonore)
David Butt Philip tenor (Florestan)
Albert Pesendorfer bass (Rocco)
Markus Brück baritone (Don Pizarro)
Philipp Jekal bass (Don Fernando)
Elena Tsallagova soprano (Marzelline)
Ya-Chung Huang tenor (Jacquino)
Michael Kim tenor (1st Prisoner)
Padraic Rowan bass baritone (2nd Prisoner)