Ludwig van Beethoven
Joseph Sonnleithner after revisions of Georg Friedrich Treitschke after Jean-Nicolas Bouilly's libretto Léonore, ou L'Amour conjugal
Opera in two acts
Dressed as a man and calling herself “Fidelio”, Leonore surreptitiously gains the confidence of the jailer Rocco and his daughter Marzelline, thus gaining access to the high security tract where her husband Florestan has been despotically incarcerated by Don Pizarro. Florestan is in mortal danger, but this does not intimidate his wife, who is determined to liberate him. Finally, however, the two of them can only be rescued by an emissary from the monarch. At the end, a Utopia in the form of a final chorus sets the stage aglow, not only as a plea for freedom and justice, but also concurrently as a condemnation of the anxieties and restrictions of human existence.
Beethoven had several plans for operatic compositions, but he only managed to realize one of these projects: in a decades-long process of creativity and rewriting, inspired by a French work entitled Léonore or Marital Loyalty
by composer Pierre Gaveaux and librettist Jean Nicolas Bouilly, which was in turn based on a real event from the epoch of the French Revolution, Beethoven crafted his only opera, Fidelio
– a musical cross-over between a light opera and a grandiose theatrical symphony.
In German with German surtitles