Ballet & Dance

New Production
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven (1805-1814)
Libretto by J.v. Sonnleithner (The 1st edition) / G.v.Traitschke (The 3rd edition)
6 performances

May 28(Sat)3:00pm, 31(Tue)6:30pm, June 2 (Thu)7:00pm, 4(Sat)3:00pm,
7(Tue)6:30pm, 9(Thu)2:00pm 2005
Approximate running time: 3 hours with 1 intermission

Conductor: Michael Boder
Director and Scenery Design: Marco Auturo Marelli
Costume Design: Dagmar Niefind-Marelli

Leonore: Gabriele Fontana
Florestan: Thomas Moser
Don Pizarro: Peteris Eglitis
Rocco: Hans Tschammer
Mrzelline: Mizushima Ikumu

Fidelio oder Die eheliche Liebe (Fidelio, or the Triumph of Married Love) is the only opera written by Beethoven, the great master of music. Its 1805 premiere in Vienna, which was under occupation by Napoleon’s French army, resulted in failure. After subsequent repeated revisions, the third version was performed and achieved unqualified success in 1814. After the model of the then popular “rescue drama,” Beethoven adapted J.N. Bouilly’s play Léonore, ou L’Amour Conjugal (Leonore, or Conjugal Love) for the opera in the format of singspiel (song-play), the tradition of German opera. The work reflects Beethoven’s philosophy and ideas, using music to express the themes of justice, virtue and true love. Since the magnificent music is written as instrumental music, and not as vocal music, the opera includes many challenging arias, including Leonore’s “Abscheulicher! (Abominable man!)” and Florestan’s “Gott! Welch’ Dunkel hier (God! How dark it is here!),” which require an extremely high level of musical technique from solemn to light expressions. The overture which was rewritten every time the opera was revised, the grand chorus just before the fall of the curtain which reminds us of the chorus from the Ninth Symphony and the orchestration that produces dignified and powerful sounds all testify to the natural talent of Beethoven. The gifted conductor Michael Boder, who has an established reputation in contemporary music, as well as the cast of powerful singers, including G. Fontana and Thomas Moser, will take on the challenge of producing this great work by Beethoven.
The setting is a Spanish state prison in a suburb of Seville in the middle of the 18th century. Don Pizarro, the governor of the prison, has unjustly imprisoned Florestan, his political enemy, when the latter inquired closely into the former’s wrongdoings. Florestan’s wife Leonore discovers that her husband, who has suddenly disappeared, is confined in this prison. In order to rescue her husband, she disguises herself as a boy and names herself Fidelio, and she waits for a chance to rescue him while working as an assistant to the jailer Rocco. Impressed with the sincere way Fidelio works, Rocco wants him to marry her daughter Marzelline. One day, Don Fernando, the King’s justice minister, comes to the prison for inspection. Fearing that his own wrongdoing may be revealed, Pizzaro orders Rocco to execute Florestan immediately. In order to dig a grave for Florestan, Rocco descends to the dungeon with Leonore. She discovers her husband weakened from captivity. When the preparations have been made, Pizzaro appears and tries to stab Florestan, Leonore reveals herself and protects her husband at the risk of her own life. The inspecting minister then arrives. An old friend of the prisoner, the minister rejoices in their reunion, praises Leonore’s courageous act and arrests Pizzaro. Released from imprisonment, Florestan, together with his wife and other people, sings in praise of God’s fair judgment and the power of love. All are enveloped in rejoice.
  <Conductor>   <Director>  
  Michael Boder   Marco Arturo Marelli  
<Main Cast>
Gabriele Fontana Thomas Moser Peteris Eglitis
  Hans Tchammer   Mizushima Ikumu