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The Sunday Opera: Beethoven's "Fidelio" from the Royal Opera

The Sunday Opera is headed back to the Royal Opera at Covent Garden this week (9/20 3:00 p.m.) for Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio” which was their last mainstage production before closing for the pandemic.  The opera was a difficult task for Beethoven, going through three versions and incorporating music from a previously unfinished opera along the way.  It would take eleven years for the final version to be staged in Vienna in 1814.  The story of personal sacrifice and heroism centers around Leonore (Lise Davidson) who disguises herself as the jailor Fidelio to rescue her husband Florestan (Jonas Kaufmann) from a political prison where he is destined to die in an act of revenge by the cruel prison governor, Don Pizarro (Michael Kupfer-Radecky).   They are joined by Georg Zeppenfeld as the kindly jailor Rocco, Amanda Forsythe as Rocco’s daughter Marzelline, Robin Tritschler as Jaquino, Rocco’s assistant who is in love with Marzelline, and Egils Silins as Don Fernado, the King’s minister.  Antonio Pappano conducts. 

Please stay tuned after the opera as Michael Kownacky continues with a mini-celebration for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with an excerpt of the music Beethoven wrote for Goethe’s play “Egmont” as well as his glorious Symphony No. 9 in a recording featuring Ah Youn Hong, Lea Wool, William Burden, and Mark S. Doss with the Westminster Symphonic Choir and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra conducted by Mark Laycock.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.