Vienna State Opera tickets 23 February 2025 - Fidelio | GoComGo.com

Fidelio

Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Vienna, Austria
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 2
Duration: 2h

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Cast
Performers
Bass-Baritone: Bryn Terfel (Don Pizarro)
Conductor: Axel Kober
Tenor: Michael Spyres (Florestan)
Bass: Peter Kellner (Don Fernando)
Soprano: Simone Schneider (Leonore)
Creators
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Librettist: Georg Friedrich Treitschke
Sets: Günther Schneider-Siemssen
Librettist: Jean-Nicolas Bouilly
Librettist: Joseph Sonnleithner
Costume designer: Leo Bei
Director: Otto Schenk
Overview

In his Fidelio, Beethoven manifests his vision that the belief, love and hope of an individual can have great impacts - and even cause political systems to totter.

Fidelio is still regarded as a mythical freedom opera, and "Fidelio also has a controversial libretto with many rough edges. For example, we don't know what kind of prisoners are being freed. Innocents? Political prisoners? Fidelio, intentionally or unintentionally, is also about being a follower; Rocco is a typical follower, a good guy, but one who has no way of defending himself. On the other side is Leonore, the woman who is the source of liberation. In this context, Günther Schneider-Siemssen and I came up with the idea of using the drawbridge as a symbol of freedom. And when it finally opens to reveal a sea of light - with people embracing each other - that's quite something. The touching moments are so essential that they inspired Beethoven to write his only opera. And Beethoven's rapture is transferred to the audience," says director Otto Schenk.

Beethoven's Fidelio is a work with a double texture: in some respects still strongly rooted in the world of the Singspiel, the opera also points far into the future in terms of its emotionality and affinity to music drama. We experience this for the first time relatively early on in the opera, in the very well-known, very fine quartet of Leonore, Rocco, Marzelline and Jaquino ("Mir ist so wunderbar"), in which time seems to stand still. Beethoven performs this quartet as a canon, so there is a link in the form - and yet each character stands alone and is preoccupied with their own thoughts. At this point, one of the challenges of the opera becomes clear: Beethoven conducts the vocal parts very instrumentally, using them as if they were musical instruments. Basically, purely in terms of the compositional setting, the section could also come from a string quartet. (Axel Kober)

Throughout his life, from his youth in Bonn until a few months before his death, Beethoven was intensely interested in music drama. There were plenty of libretti, 53 in fact. Beethoven dealt with all these subjects, but ultimately set none of them to music. What we are left with are only vague plans, a few passages from letters and a few sketches with scribbled motifs. Interestingly, no criteria are recognizable, neither in the selection nor in the rejection. Among others, the following were considered: an Alcina and an Armida, Odysseus' return and even Memnon's triad. From the summer of 1808, Titan considered setting Goethe's Faust. The Tragedy Part One to music. Despite or because of the personal meeting between the two in Teplitz and the subsequent rumor that the privy councillor was already working on the opera libretto, nothing came of it. (Robert Quitta)

Short Summary
In a Spanish state prison, under the reign of terror of the brutal governor Don Pizarro, the innocent Don Florestan suffers. His wife Leonore, disguised as Fidelio, works in the prison to be close to him. When a surprise inspection is announced by the minister Don Fernando, a confidant of Florestan, Pizarro plans to kill Florestan. But Fidelio bravely opposes him. At the decisive moment, the minister appears to end the oppression and free Florestan. A story of courage, love and triumph over tyranny.

History
Premiere of this production: 20 November 1805, Theater an der Wien, Vienna

Fidelio (originally titled Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe; English: Leonore, or The Triumph of Marital Love) is Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto was originally prepared by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, with the work premiering at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 20 November 1805.

Synopsis

Act I

In vain the gatekeeper Jacquino vies fort he affection of Marzelline. She, however, has been indifferent to his approaches ever since Fidelio has been working there. Fidelio/Leonore returns from Seville where she has been attending to some business. Rocco is once again very pleased with his new assistant´s cleverness and sense of duty very soon Fidelio and Marzelline will be united as one. Marzelline and Rocco dream of a happy future, Jacquino sees his prospects vanishing, and Fidelio / Leonore dreads the uncertainty. Then Don Pizarro appears on the scene. From a confidential letter he learns that the minister has got wind of his abuse of office, and hopes to catch Don Pizarro out with a surprise vsit. Pizarro reacts promptly tot he situation: a warder is sent to watch the main road and signal the minister´s arrival with a trumpet signal. Florestan, the most prominent victim, must be eliminated as fast as possible. As Rocco refuses to commit a murder, the gvernor determines to carry out the deed himself. However, first the gaoler must dig him a grave in the dungeon. Marzelline and Fidelio / Leonore ask Rocco to allow the petty criminals out for a while. Full of joy, the prisoners enjoy the warm spring sun – in vain Fidelio / Leonore watches for a familiar face. To her dismay she learns of Rocco´s latest task, and asks to share his heavy work in the dungeon with him. Will she have to help dig her own husband´s grave? Furious, Pizarro notices the prisoners´walking about, and will accept no excuses. Only his pressing plan to murder Florestan prevents terrible consequences.

Act II

In the dungeon the weakened Florestan ponders his fate. His situation seems hopeless, and he is consoled only by the knowledge that he has done his duty. In an estatic vision he imagines that he is transported to heavenly freedom by an angel with the countenance of Leonore.  Rocco and Fidelio / Leonore laboriously open up a cistern. Florestan finally learns who the governor of this prison is, and wants to send word to his wife in Seville. Fidelio / Leonore now knows for certain sho the man before her is. It would seem that a light meal of bread and wine ist o be Florestan´s last earthly pleasure, when Pizarro is heard approaching. As he draws back  to deal the fatal blow, Fidelio / Leonore jumps in front oft he prisoner crying „First kill his wife!“ As she points a pistol at Pizarro, the trumpet signal is heard. The arrival oft he minister promises a different turn of events: release fort he oppressed, punishment fort he oppressor. Pizarro rushes out of the dungeon, Rocco dissociates himself from his former master, and Leonore and Florestan rush delighted into one another´s arms. _ Eagerly the people and the prisoners welcome the minister Don Fernando on the parade ground in front oft he palace. In the name oft he king, the minister pronounces a general amnesty and the end of political despotism. He recognizes Florestan as his old friend long supposed dead. Leonore is allowed to release the chains oft he man who has been humiliated for so long, and Pizarro is arrested. The jubilant crown applauds the reunited couple, raising their voices in praise of true love: „Never can one extol too highly the woman who saves her own husband!“

Two years prior to the opening scene, the Spanish nobleman Florestan has exposed or attempted to expose certain crimes of a rival nobleman, Pizarro. In revenge, Pizarro has secretly imprisoned Florestan in the prison over which he is governor. Simultaneously, Pizarro has spread false rumors about Florestan's death.

The warden of the prison, Rocco, has a daughter, Marzelline, and an assistant, Jaquino, who is in love with Marzelline. The faithful wife of Florestan, Leonore, suspects that her husband is still alive. Disguised as a boy, under the alias "Fidelio", she gains employment working for Rocco. As the boy Fidelio, she earns the favor of her employer, Rocco, and also the affections of his daughter Marzelline, much to Jaquino's chagrin.

On orders, Rocco has been giving the imprisoned Florestan diminishing rations until he is nearly starved to death.

Place: A Spanish state prison, a few miles from Seville
Time: Late 18th century
Act 1

Jaquino and Marzelline are alone in Rocco's house. Jaquino asks Marzelline when she will agree to marry him, but she says that she will never marry him now that she has fallen in love with Fidelio, unaware that Fidelio is actually Leonore in disguise (Jetzt, Schätzchen, jetzt sind wir allein—"Now, darling, now we are alone"). Jaquino leaves, and Marzelline expresses her desire to become Fidelio's wife (O wär ich schon mit dir vereint—"If only I were already united with thee"). Rocco enters, looking for Fidelio, who then enters carrying a heavy load of newly-repaired chains. Rocco compliments Fidelio, and misinterprets her modest reply as hidden attraction to his daughter. Marzelline, Fidelio, Rocco, and Jaquino sing a quartet about the love Marzelline has for Fidelio (Mir ist so wunderbar—"A wondrous feeling fills me", also known as the Canon Quartet).

Rocco tells Fidelio that as soon as the governor has left for Seville, Marzelline and Fidelio can be married. He tells them, however, that unless they have money, they will not be happy. (Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben—"If you don't have any money"). Fidelio demands to know why Rocco will not allow for help in the dungeons, especially as he always seems to return short of breath. Rocco says that there is a dungeon down there where he can never take Fidelio, which houses a man who has been wasting away for two years. Marzelline begs her father to keep Leonore away from such a terrible sight, but Leonore claims courage sufficient to cope with it. Rocco and Leonore sing of courage (Gut, Söhnchen, gut—"All right, sonny, all right"), and Marzelline joins in their acclamations.

All but Rocco leave. A march is played as Pizarro enters with his guards. Rocco warns Pizarro that the minister plans a surprise visit tomorrow to investigate accusations of Pizarro's cruelty. Pizarro exclaims that he cannot let the minister discover the imprisoned Florestan, who has been thought dead. Instead, Pizarro will have Florestan murdered (Ha, welch ein Augenblick—"Hah! What a moment!"). As a signal, Pizarro orders that a trumpet be sounded at the minister's arrival. He offers Rocco money to kill Florestan, but Rocco refuses (Jetzt, Alter, jetzt hat es Eile!—"Now, old man, we must hurry!"). Pizarro says he will kill Florestan himself instead, and orders Rocco to dig a grave for him in the floor of the dungeon. Once the grave is ready, Rocco is to sound the alarm, upon which Pizarro will come into the dungeon and kill Florestan. Fidelio, hearing Pizarro's plot, is agitated, but hopes to rescue Florestan (Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin? and Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern—"Monster! Where are you off to so fast?" and "Come, hope, let the last star").

Jaquino once again begs Marzelline to marry him, but she continues to refuse. Fidelio, hoping to discover Florestan, asks Rocco to let the poor prisoners roam in the garden and enjoy the beautiful weather. Marzelline similarly begs him, and Rocco agrees to distract Pizarro while the prisoners are set free. The prisoners, ecstatic at their temporary freedom, sing joyfully (O welche Lust—"O what a joy"), but remembering that they might be caught by the prison's governor Pizarro, are soon quiet.

After meeting with Pizarro, Rocco reenters and tells Fidelio that Pizarro will allow the marriage, and Fidelio will also be permitted to join Rocco on his rounds in the dungeon (Nun sprecht, wie ging's?—"Speak, how did it go?"). Rocco and Fidelio prepare to go to Florestan's cell, with the knowledge that he must be killed and buried within the hour. Fidelio is shaken; Rocco tries to discourage Fidelio from coming, but Fidelio insists. As they prepare to leave, Jaquino and Marzelline rush in and tell Rocco to run, as Pizarro has learned that the prisoners were allowed to roam, and is furious (Ach, Vater, Vater, eilt!—"O, father, father, hurry!").

Before they can leave, Pizarro enters and demands an explanation. Rocco, thinking quickly, answers that the prisoners were given a little freedom in honor of the Spanish king's name day, and quietly suggests that Pizarro should save his anger for the prisoner in the dungeon below. Pizarro tells him to hurry and dig the grave, and then announces that the prisoners will be locked up again. Rocco, Leonore, Jacquino, and Marzelline reluctantly usher the prisoners back to their cells. (Leb wohl, du warmes Sonnenlicht—"Farewell, you warm sunshine").

Act 2

Florestan is alone in his cell, deep inside the dungeons. He sings first of his trust in God, and then has a vision of his wife Leonore coming to save him (Gott! Welch Dunkel hier!—"God! What darkness here" and In des Lebens Frühlingstagen—"In the spring days of life"). Florestan collapses and falls asleep, while Rocco and Fidelio come to dig his grave. As they dig, Rocco urges Fidelio to hurry (Wie kalt ist es in diesem unterirdischen Gewölbe!—"How cold it is in this underground chamber" and Nur hurtig fort, nur frisch gegraben—"Come get to work and dig", the "Gravedigging Duet").

Florestan awakes and Fidelio recognizes him. When Florestan learns that the prison he is in belongs to Pizarro, he asks that a message be sent to his wife, Leonore, but Rocco says that it is impossible. Florestan begs for a drop to drink, and Rocco tells Fidelio to give him one. Florestan does not recognize Fidelio, his wife Leonore in disguise, but tells Fidelio that there will be reward for the good deed in Heaven (Euch werde Lohn in bessern Welten—"You shall be rewarded in better worlds"). Fidelio further begs Rocco to be allowed to give Florestan a crust of bread, and Rocco consents.

Rocco obeys his orders and sounds the alarm for Pizarro, who appears and asks if all is ready. Rocco says that it is, and instructs Fidelio to leave the dungeon, but Fidelio hides instead. Pizarro reveals his identity to Florestan, who accuses him of murder (Er sterbe! Doch er soll erst wissen—"Let him die! But first he should know"). As Pizarro brandishes a dagger, Fidelio leaps between him and Florestan and reveals her identity as Leonore, the wife of Florestan. Pizarro raises his dagger to kill her, but she pulls a gun and threatens to shoot him.

Just then, the trumpet is heard, announcing the arrival of the minister. Jaquino enters, followed by soldiers, to announce that the minister is waiting at the gate. Rocco tells the soldiers to escort Governor Pizarro upstairs. Florestan and Leonore sing to their victory as Pizarro declares that he will have revenge, while Rocco expresses his fear of what is to come (Es schlägt der Rache Stunde—"Revenge's bell tolls"). Together, Florestan and Leonore sing a love duet (O namenlose Freude!—"O unnamed joy!").

Here, the overture "Leonore No. 3" is sometimes played.

The prisoners and townsfolk sing to the day and hour of justice which has come (Heil sei dem Tag!—"Hail to the day!"). The minister, Don Fernando, announces that tyranny has ended. Rocco enters, with Leonore and Florestan, and he asks Don Fernando to help them (Wohlan, so helfet! Helft den Armen!—"So help! Help the poor ones!"). Rocco explains how Leonore disguised herself as Fidelio to save her husband. Previously in love with Fidelio, Marzelline is shocked. Rocco describes Pizarro's murder plot, and Pizarro is led away to prison. Florestan is released from his chains by Leonore, and the crowd sings the praises of Leonore, the loyal savior of her husband (Wer ein holdes Weib errungen—"Who has got a good wife").

Venue Info

Vienna State Opera - Vienna
Location   Opernring 2

The Vienna State Opera is one of the leading opera houses in the world. Its past is steeped in tradition. Its present is alive with richly varied performances and events. Each season, the schedule features 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera's orchestra. The building is also the home of the Vienna State Ballet, and it hosts the annual Vienna Opera Ball during the carnival season.

The 1,709-seat Renaissance Revival venue was the first major building on the Vienna Ring Road. It was built from 1861 to 1869 following plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, and designs by Josef Hlávka. The opera house was inaugurated as the "Vienna Court Opera" (Wiener Hofoper) in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. It became known by its current name after the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1921. The Vienna State Opera is the successor of the Vienna Court Opera, the original construction site chosen and paid for by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1861.

The opera house was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstrasse commissioned by the Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the house in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect and contractor Josef Hlávka.

Gustav Mahler was one of the many conductors who have worked in Vienna. During his tenure (1897–1907), Mahler cultivated a new generation of singers, such as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg and Selma Kurz, and recruited a stage designer who replaced the lavish historical stage decors with sparse stage scenery corresponding to modernistic, Jugendstil tastes. Mahler also introduced the practice of dimming the lighting in the theatre during performances, which was initially not appreciated by the audience. However, Mahler's reforms were maintained by his successors.

Herbert von Karajan introduced the practice of performing operas exclusively in their original language instead of being translated into German. He also strengthened the ensemble and regular principal singers and introduced the policy of predominantly engaging guest singers. He began a collaboration with La Scala in Milan, in which both productions and orchestrations were shared. This created an opening for the prominent members of the Viennese ensemble to appear in Milan, especially to perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss.

Ballet companies merge

At the beginning of the 2005–2006 season, the ballet companies of the Staatsoper and the Vienna Volksoper were merged under the direction of Gyula Harangozó.

From the 2010–2011 season a new company was formed called Wiener Staatsballet, Vienna State Ballet, under the direction of former Paris Opera Ballet principal dancer Manuel Legris. Legris eliminated Harangozós's policy of presenting nothing but traditional narrative ballets with guest artists in the leading roles, concentrated on establishing a strong in-house ensemble and restored evenings of mixed bill programs, featuring works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, and many contemporary choreographers, as well as a reduced schedule of the classic ballets.

Opera ball

For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the Vienna Opera Ball. It is an internationally renowned event, which takes place annually on the last Thursday in Fasching. Those in attendance often include visitors from around the world, especially prominent names in business and politics. The opera ball receives media coverage from a range of outlets.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Vienna, Austria
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 2
Duration: 2h
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