Photo: Marta Syrko

5 reasons to look forward to … Fidelio

7 May 2024

1  Beethovens only opera 

Beethoven found composing his opera Fidelio a formidable challenge. He rewrote the piece no fewer than three times and enlisted several librettists before he began to feel satisfied. To one librettist, he famously described his work as a ‘shipwreck’. Despite this, his opera became an indispensable part of the 19th-century repertoire and was the first opera to be performed in Berlin after World War II in September 1945.

2  The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will play Beethoven's masterpiece 

For the first time in over 80 years, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s only opera. While Beethoven’s symphonies are a staple in the Concertgebouw Orchestra’s repertoire, this series of performances offers a unique opportunity to hear this world-class orchestra tackle Beethoven’s operatic work.

3  The distinctive direction of  Andriy Zholdak 

Trained in Moscow and former head of the Ukrainian Drama Theatre in Kharkiv, Ukrainian director Andriy Zholdak invites audiences into a surreal dream world filled with symbolism in his rendition of Fidelio. His unique theatrical language draws on the works of film directors such as Fellini, Ingmar Bergman and Tarkovsky. Zholdak is also responsible for the sets, costumes and lighting of Fidelio, marking his debut at Dutch National Opera.

4  Andrés Orozco-Estrada debut at Dutch National Opera

Colombian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada is making his debut at Dutch National Opera with Fidelio. A frequent guest at the Concertgebouw Orchestra, he has increasingly focused on the opera repertoire in recent years and has been a guest conductor at top orchestras such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, Staatskapelle Dresden and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as at major opera houses including the Berlin State Opera, La Scala Milan and the Vienna State Opera.

5  Top soloists

This production of Fidelio features a distinguished cast. Leading soprano Jacquelyn Wagner plays Leonore, a dramatic and vocally versatile role. She has recently appeared at the Semperoper Dresden and Deutsche Oper Berlin and sung with the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig. Internationally acclaimed heldentenor Eric Cutler sings Florestan, who has recently performed at the Bavarian State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and the Bayreuth Festival.