Fidelio

Author(s): Martha Smith
Beethoven’s opera is taken from its original setting of a political prison in Spain in 1700, and placed in Auschwitz, 1945, at the time of liberation. An elderly Leonore takes her grandson, Jakov, to Yad Vashem to tell him the story of his grandfather, Florestan, a leader in the Polish resistance. She explains how she left her Jewish family, who had fled to England, and returned to Poland in an attempt to find her husband. She had been informed by resistance workers that Florestan had been captured and was in an underground cell in Auschwitz. Leonore goes to the prison, dressed as a young man, Fidelio. She gains the favor of Rocco, a guard, and is allowed to enter the cell where Florestan is to be executed by Pizarro, a henchman of Himmler. Leonore reveals her identity as Florestan’s wife, pulling a pistol on Pizarro as she holds him at bay. As Leonore is telling the story of the rescue of her husband to Jakov, the singers appear to be living the story as it is seen in the boy’s imagination.
Format: Opera

Snapshot

Original or Prominent Production:
Produced in five cities in Poland: Wroclaw, Lublin, Lodz, Krakow, Warsaw. Performed with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Polish National Radio Chorus, and a cast of international soloists.
Original Source Material: Beethoven’s opera Fidelio.
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: German; in this version, the original text is replaced with Polish text (or adapted to the language of the country where it is performed).
Production Rights Holder:

Martha Smith
Contact International Voice of Justice

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