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L. van Beethoven: Fidelio in concert

Artscape Opera HouseD F Malan Street Foreshore, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa
March 27 19:30, March 29 15:00

Fidelio, Ludwig van Beethoven’s sole opera, speaks passionately about the composer’s deeply held beliefs about freedom and liberty — views that would be further underscored in the composer’s Ninth Symphony, with its choral finale set to Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”. Fidelio tells the story of a young woman, Leonora/Fidelio, who goes undercover as a young male prison warden where her husband, Florestan, is unjustly being kept prisoner. Fidelio’s plan is to find a way to — somehow — free her husband. The opera is based (admittedly loosely) on a true story known to Beethoven’s librettist. With its stirring choruses and soaring vocal ensemble music, Fidelio is a perfect opera for a performance in concert. This production is being performed in honour of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, as well as in commemoration of South Africa’s Human Rights Day. Fidelio and its message of freedom was first performed in 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of a democratic South Africa by Cape Town Opera in the actual exercise yard of the Robben Island prison. Johanni van Oostrum will sing her first Leonore, Mandisinde Mbuyazwe appears as prison governor Don Pizzaro, and Brittany Smith sings the role of Marzelline. Amy Jephta has written new narrations especially for this production, and Maestro Jeremy Silver will conduct the Cape Town Philharmonic in this vast work.

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