Beethoven: Fidelio (Blu-Ray)

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Item: 814337017590


Beethoven: Fidelio (Blu-Ray)

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Artists: Nicole Chevalier, Eric Cutler, Gábor Bretz, Christof Fischesser, Mélissa Petit, Benjamin Hulett, Károly Szemerédy, Wiener Symphoniker, Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Conductor: Manfred Honeck
Director: Christoph Waltz
Format: Blu-Ray
Language: German
Subtitles: German, English, French, Japanese, Korean
Region: All Regions
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Unitel Edition
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2021
Run Time: 130 minutes

None other than Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz was engaged for the stage direction of this new production of Fidelio from the Theater an der Wien. There, at one of the oldest opera houses in Vienna, Beethoven was a composer-in-residence, where he premiered many of his most famous orchestral works, symphonies, and his only opera: Fidelio.

Waltz brilliantly stages Fidelio in the breathtaking set designed by German-American architectural practice Barkow Leibinger. The abstract staircase landscape in the form of a double helix, symbolizing prison, extends space into the back of the theatre and is infinitely changeable in the cinematic lighting concept of Hollywood regular Henry Braham. Manfred Honeck at the rostrum of the dynamic Wiener Symphoniker leads a superb and versatile cast of “vocally outstanding” (Der Standard) singers: Nicole Chevalier bewitches vocally and dramatically on her stage debut as Leonore, Eric Cutler gives Florestan a powerful voice, and Christof Fischesser, Gábor Bretz, and Mélissa Petit complete the strong ensemble.

Unfortunately, the production, which was sold out months before, never saw its stage premiere, as the Theater an der Wien had to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic a few days before. Thanks to an incredible effort by all participants, the opera house was converted into a film studio at short notice so that Christoph Waltz’s “convincing production” (Die Zeit) of Beethoven’s flaming musical plea for freedom and humanity could be preserved for posterity.

“An ingenious, enigmatic direction” (Münchner Merkur)

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