Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Fidelio
Caramoor welcomes Pablo Heras-Casado, principal conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke’s, in his first turn at the Bel Canto opera stage.
Beethoven’s Fidelio –the master’s only opera– explores themes common to his “middle period”: of personal sacrifice, of heroism, and of delayed triumph. The story follows the efforts of a determined wife in disguise (soprano Elza van den Heever), the struggles of her imprisoned political-activist-husband (tenor Paul Groves), and a host of players from the reigning municipality who seek to keep him in chains.
Fidelio was the fruit of Beethoven’s decade-long struggle to bend operatic forms to his personal vision. Its first version, Leonore, had met with mixed success in 1805. The revision, debuting in the same season as Rossini’s Aureliano, became an instant classic, and is now a cornerstone of the repertory. Its stunning synthesis of German and Italian operatic traditions with Beethoven’s unique force and nobility has challenged the greatest interpreters for two centuries, revealing new secrets in each generation.
- Leonore: Elza van den Heever, soprano
- Florestan: Paul Groves, tenor
- Marzelline: Georgia Jarman, soprano
- Rocco: Kristinn Sigmundsson, bass
- Jaquino: Andrew Owens, tenor
- Don Pizarro: Alfred Walker, bass-baritone
- Pablo Heras Casado, conductor
- Orchestra of St. Luke’s
- At 1 pm: Beethoven’s Wrestling Match with Opera.
While Rossini was turning out three operas a year, Beethoven struggled for over a decade to bring just one to the stage. The Bel Canto Young Artists with Timothy Cheung traverse the path from Leonore (1805) to Fidelio (1814), opening a window onto the composer’s development and his love-hate relationship with the genre.
- At 2 pm: Bel Canto in Milan and Vienna, 1814.
Fidelio and Aureliano seem worlds apart, but they premiered in the same season, in two cities linked by Austrian rule and by a shared love of Bel Canto singing. The Bel Canto Young Artists and Apprentices offer a capsule view of the other music their audiences were enjoying.
- At 3 pm: Introductions. Will Crutchfield introduces Fidelio.