Opera Scotland

Fidelio

Tours by decade

1850s - 3 tours

1853 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1854 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1855 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1870s - 1 tour

1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1880s - 1 tour

1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1900s - 3 tours

1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1910s - 1 tour

1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 3 tours

1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1925 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 2 tours

1952 - Hamburg State Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1970s - 3 tours

1970 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1974 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1977 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 1 tour

1984 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1990s - 4 tours

1990 - Glyndebourne Touring Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1991 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1994 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1996 - Edinburgh International Festival
Concert performance

2000s - 2 tours

2005 - Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Concert performance
2005 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2010s - 1 tour

2013 - Opéra de Lyon
Fully Staged with Orchestra

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 44 entries

1853 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Edinburgh
1854 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Edinburgh
1854 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Glasgow
1855 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Edinburgh
1855 - Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera
Glasgow
1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1925 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1952 - Hamburg State Opera
Edinburgh
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1970 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1970 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1970 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1974 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1974 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1974 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1977 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1977 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1984 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1984 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1984 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1990 - Glyndebourne Touring Opera
Glasgow
1991 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1991 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1994 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1994 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1996 - Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh
2005 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2005 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2005 - Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Edinburgh
2013 - Opéra de Lyon
Edinburgh

England, UK - 7 entries

1974 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1984 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1984 - Scottish Opera
Leeds
1991 - Scottish Opera
Oxford
1991 - Scottish Opera
Bradford
1991 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1994 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Music
Ludwig van Beethoven (born Bonn, 15 or 16 December 1770; died Vienna, 26 March 1827)

Text
Josef Sonnleithner revised by Friedrich Treitschke.

Source
Léonore, ou L’amour conjugale (1798) by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, set by Pierre Gaveaux.

Premières
First performance: Vienna (Theater an der Wien), 20 November 1805.
First performance (final version): Vienna (Kärntnertor-theater), 23 May 1814.
First UK performance: London (King’s Theatre, Haymarket), 18 May 1832.
First performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (Theatre Royal), 23 December 1853.
Scottish Opera première: Glasgow (King’s Theatre), 1 May 1970.

Background
Beethoven struggled for most of his career to find suitable subjects for opera, and the only one he completed, Fidelio, is invariably recognised as one of the most important works in the repertoire. The history of Fidelio is tortuous. The opera started in 1805 as Leonore, using a 3-act German translation of an Italian version, recently set by both Ferdinando Paer (Dresden 1804) and Simone Mayr (Padua 1805), of Bouilly’s original French libretto. It was not a success, and a few months later, Beethoven altered it with the help of another librettist, Stefan von Breuning, cutting it to two acts and changing several details, including the overture. The final version of 1814 had a text further revised by Treitschke and was at last considered a success. The opera has been performed regularly ever since. It is difficult to perform well, but has gained a unique status as a piece to be performed on important occasions.

Main Characters
Rocco, the chief jailer (bass)
Marzelline, his daughter (soprano)
Jaquino, Rocco’s assistant (tenor)
Florestan, a Spanish nobleman (tenor)
Leonore, his wife, disguised as a boy, Fidelio (soprano)
Don Pizarro, prison governor (baritone)
Don Fernando, a government minister (baritone)

Plot Summary
The setting is a prison near Seville in the late eighteenth century, Florestan has disappeared without trace, and is secretly imprisoned by his enemy, Pizarro. Florestan’s wife has traced him to the prison, and, disguised as a boy, has obtained work as an assistant jailer. While she devotes her efforts to detecting any word of her husband’s whereabouts, she finds herself the object of Marzelline’s affections, and therefore of Jaquino’s jealousy. Rocco is persuaded by Fidelio to let the prisoners out of their cells for exercise, but Florestan is not among them, and Pizarro is infuriated by this flouting of his orders. However Leonore overhears a reference by Pizarro to a secret prisoner who is to be disposed of before the Government Inspector arrives – she has her chance at last. Rocco is ordered to prepare a grave for Florestan in his dungeon, and takes Fidelio to assist him. When Pizarro comes down to carry out the murder he is prevented by Leonore, who identifies herself as Florestan’s wife. At this crisis point, trumpets are heard proclaiming the arrival of Don Fernando, who is an old friend of Florestan. Leonore is allowed to release him, and Pizarro is himself arrested as the people rush in to celebrate liberty.

The Cast

Don Fernando
 the King's Minister
Don Pizarro
 prison governor
First Prisoner
 
Florestan
 a Spanish nobleman
Jaquino
 Rocco's assistant
Leonore
 Florestan's wife, disguised as Fidelio
Marzelline
 Rocco's daughter
Rocco
 gaoler
Second Prisoner
 

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