Fidelio – In concert form

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January 1970

Unique among his works, Fidelio put Beethoven to the test. Eleven years of work and changes resulting in three versions of the opera. The story, adapted from the drama by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, Leonora, o l’amor coniugale, was very well-known at the time, and belonged to the highly fashionable genre of the pièce de sauvetage, in which fictional and topical elements are blended together in an adventurous plot with a happy ending. The first version, from 1805, was considered long-winded, the second - a year later - was better, but still did not produce the desired results. Before returning to this untameable creature, Beethoven decided to wait, and a decade later, bolstered by his successes in instrumental music, attempted a third and final version. The libretto was revised by Georg Friedrich Treitschke, a number of pieces were eliminated, others re-written, and some passages of orchestration were touched up. On 23 May 1814, Fidelio was ready to take to the stage and finally receive the long-desired-for success. In his final version, Beethoven fully examined themes dear to him, such as the relationship between good and evil and between justice and tyranny, with the final triumph of Reason and Love, enhanced with music of epic content.

Program and cast

Conductor: Zubin Mehta

Principal interpreters: Gregory Kunde, Heidi Melton, Levent Bakirci, Mattia Olivieri, Goran Jurić, Karl-Michael Ebner, Barbara Bargnesi

Orchestra and Corodel Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Choir Master: Lorenzo Fratini

Teatro del Maggio

Teatro del Maggio is in the centre, close to the old city walls, next to the historic Stazione Leopolda. The garden that welcomes visitors is Piazzale Vittorio Gui, named after the founder of the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

By train
Santa Maria Novella is Florence's main train station.
From there you can reach the theatre with a short walk (about 10-15 minutes) or by taking the tram (a stop) or a taxi.

By car
The Opera di Firenze is just outside the ZTL area.
It is possible to park near the Parco delle Cascine or for a fee in the Porta al Prato car park (Via Elio Gabbuggiani, 7) and in the Piazza Vittorio Veneto car park.

By bus
Lines C1, C2 and D (Leopolda stop);
Lines 17 and 23A-B (stop Via delle Carra);
Lines 17B-C, 22, 23N, 23 and 57 (Pierluigi da Palestrina stop);
Lines 29, 29B, 29BA, 29BC, 29D, 30A, 30B, 30AC, 35 and 35° (stop Leopolda - Porta al Prato; Capolinea).

By tram
Line T1 (stop Porta al Prato - Parco della musica).

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