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Fidelio

Opera in two acts, Op. 72
Libretto by Joseph von Sonnleithner and
Georg Friedrich Treitschke
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Premiered Vienna, Theater-an-der-Wien,
20 November 1805

The Characters
Name
Description
Voice Type 
Premiere Cast
Don Fernando
Minister of State
bass
NN Weinkopf
Leonore
wife of Florestan under the guise of 'Fidelio'
soprano
Pauline Anna Milder
(later Milder-Hauptmann)
Don Pizarro
overseer of the prison
baritone
Friedrich Sebastian Mayer
Rocco
jailer
bass
NN Rothe
Marzelline
daughter of Rocco
soprano
Louise Müller
Florestan
prisoner of state and Leonore's husband
tenor
Friedrich Christian Demmer
Jaquino
turnkey and porter
tenor
Josef Caché
First prisoner
 
tenor
unknown
Second prisoner
 
bass
unknown
Chorus of soldiers, prisoners and people 
The Setting
A state prison near Seville, 1700s.
The Opera
Overture
Act I
Role
Scene I
1
Duet
'Jetzt, Schätzchen'
Jaquino, Marzelline
2
Recitative
'Der arme Jaquino'
Marzelline
3
Aria
'O wär' ich schon mit dir vereint'
Marzelline
4
Recitative
'Ist Fidelio nochnicht zurück gekommen?'
Rocco, Marzelline, Leonore
5
Quartet
'Mir ist so wunderbar'
Marzelline, Leonore, Rocco, Jaquino
6
Recitative
'Höre, Fidelio'
Rocco, Marzelline, Leonore
7
Aria
'Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben'
Rocco
8
Recitative
'Ihr könnt das leicht sagen'
Leonore, Rocco, Marzelline
9
Trio
'Gut Söhnchen, gut'
Rocco, Leonore, Marzelline
Scene II
10
March
  
[orchestra]
11
Recitative
'Drei Schildwachen auf den Wall'
Pizarro, Rocco
12
Aria with Chorus
'Ha! Welch ein Augenblick!'
Pizarro, chorus
13
Recitative
'Hauptmann!'
Pizarro
14
Duet
'Jetzt, Alter, hat es Eile!'
Pizarro, Rocco
15
Recitative and Aria
'Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin?'
Leonore
16
Recitative
'Rocco, ich ersuchte euch schon'
Leonore, Rocco, Marzelline
17 
Chorus (Finale)
'O welche Lust!'
chorus, first prisoner, second prisoner
18
Recitative and Duet
'Nun sprecht, wie ging's?'
Leonore, Rocco
19
Quintet with Chorus
'Arch! Vater, eilt!
Marzelline, Leonore, Jaquino, Pizarro, Rocco
20
Overture to 'Leonore', No. 3
 
[orchestra]
Act II
Scene I
1
Introduction
 
[orchestra]
2
Aria
'Gott! Welch' Dunkel hier!'
Florestan
3
Melodrama and Duet
'Wie Kalt ist es'
Leonore, Rocco
4
Recitative
'Er erwacht!'
Leonore, Rocco, Florestan
5
Trio
'Euch werde Lohn in besser'n Welten'
Florestan, Rocco, Leonore
6
Recitative
'Alles ist bereit'
Rocco, Leonore, Florestan, Pizarro
7
Quartet
'Er sterbe!'
Pizarro, Florestan, Leonore, Rocco
8
Recitative
'O, meine Leonore'
Florestan, Leonore
9
Duet
'O namenlose Freude!'
Leonore, Florestan
Scene II
10
Chorus (Finale)
'Heil sei dem Tag'
chorus, Fernando, Rocco, Pizarro, Leonore, Marzelline
11
Scene with Chorus
'Des besten Königs Wink und Wille'
Fernando, et al
12
Chorus
'Bestrafet sei der Bösewicht'
 
13
Quintet with Chorus
'O Gott!'
Leonore, Florestan, Fernando, Marzelline, Rocco, chorus
14
Chorus with Quintet
'Wer ein holdes Weib errungen'
chorus, Florestan, Leonore, Marzelline, Jaquino, Fernando, Rocco
15
Overture to 'Leonore', No. 1
 
[orchestra]
16
Overture to 'Leonore', No. 2
 
[orchestra]

Notes

This opera is based on a libretto by Jean-Nicholas Bouilly.

Sources

Ludwig Van Beethoven, Fidelio [CD liner notes]. Brewer, Mac Master, Sigmundsson, Matthews, Uusitalo et al, London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, recorded 2006, LSO Live, 2007.

Senner, W. M. The Critical Reception of Beethoven's Compositions by His German Contemporaries, vol. 2. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.

Van Beethoven, L. Fidelio: An Opera in Two Acts. New York: G. Schirmer, 1907.


 

 

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