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. The opera is directed by Erik Söderblom.
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
Organ Night & Aria Festival festival choir,
Soloists: Ilkka Vihavainen, Rolf Broman, Jussi Myllys, Silja Aalto, Matti Salminen, Saara Kiiveri, Markus Nykänen
Duration 2 h 30 min, incl. intermission
Performed in German, subtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English