Beethoven’s Fidelio is an opera for our time. Although composed over 200 years ago, its timeless portrayal of use and abuse of power hits home. And yet, Fidelio keeps faith in mankind and in wisdom; Matti Salminen’s prison guard Rocco stands tall as the opera’s central character. The accomplished conductor Okko Kamu conducts Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Organ Night & Aria Festival choir, and a cast featuring some of the most celebrated stars of the opera stage.
Fidelio is the most famous ‘rescue opera’ (German Rettungsoper, French opéra à sauvetage) – a genre that prominently features both romantic love and acts of heroism. In Beethoven’s hands, however, these themes are elevated into a paean to democratic ideals.
In our post-truth era, opinions are routinely presented as facts, and opposing such facts takes fortitude and courage. Fidelio is a story about valour. Proclaiming civil courage, it demonstrates strategies of resistance against arbitrary control and surveillance. In Fidelio, justice prevails, and the opera thus carries a message hope.
Political prisoner. Secrecy. Special court. Frisking. Surveillance. Enforcement. Control. Special forces. Defence industry. Trolls. State apparatus. Manipulation. Extrajudicial decisions. Detention. Fake news. Border control. Turning away. Security service. Data leak. Monopoly of violence. Roadblock.
Dark words, like storm clouds on the horizon. Where art thou headed, world?
Libretto Josef Sonnleithner (based on Jean-Nicolas Bouilly’s text)
Conductor Okko Kamu
Director Erik Söderblom
Lighting Design Jarkko Lievonen
Dress Design Elina Vättö
Choir Master Erkki Korhonen
Répétiteur Erkki Korhonen
Set Design Erik Söderblom
Translations Erik Söderblom
Soloists Ilkka Vihavainen, Rolf Broman, Jussi Myllys, Miina-Liisa Värelä, Matti Salminen, Saara Kiiveri, Markus Nykänen
Organ Night & Aria Festival festival choir, Tapiola Sinfonietta
Co-production: Organ Night & Aria Festival, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Espoo City Theatre
Partners: Espoon Cultural Centre, Helsinki Festival
Duration 2 h 30 min, incl. intermission
Performed in German, surtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English