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Bilbao’s Palacio Euskalduna stages Beethoven opera

Bilbao’s Palacio Euskalduna continues its 2018/19 opera season with a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, which can be seen over four dates.

The Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa and the Coro de Ópera de Bilbao provide the music and chorus for the performance, which is promoted by the Associación Bilbaina Amigos de la Ópera (ABAO-OLBE, Bilbao Association Friends of the Opera). It also features five soloists making their debut in an ABAO-OLBE production.

The Palacio Euskalduna Bilbao is an award-winning contemporary building used for conferences, exhibitions and musical events

Fidelio is the only opera that Beethoven wrote. Its original title was Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe (Leonore, or The Triumph of Marital Love) and tells the tale of Leonore who disguises herself as a male prison guard called Fidelio so she can rescue her husband from a political jail where he’s awaiting the death penalty.

When Beethoven wrote his score, the opera already existed in French and Italian, and the accompanying libretto in German was written by Joseph Sonnleithner. Beethoven revisited his composition twice, and gave the first revision his preferred title of LeonoreFidelio is the name now given to the final version that was published in 1814.

It premiered in Vienna in 1805, and it’s likely that the themes of heroism, imprisonment and suffering resonated strongly with Austrian audiences who were at the time embroiled in the Napoleonic Wars and subject to occupation by French troops.

Next up in the opera season at the Palacio Euskalduna are productions of Verdi’s I Lombardi (January 2019) and Rossini’s Semiramide (February 2019).

When: 24, 27, 30 November, 3 December; 7.30pm

Where: Palacio Euskalduna Jauregia Bilbao (Palacio de Congresos y de la Música)

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