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Beethoven FIDELIO

Leonore – Waltraud Meier
Florestan – Peter Seiffert
Rocco – Matti Salminen
Marzelline – Ildikó Raimondi
Jaquino - Rainer Trost

Valencia Community Orchestra & Choir/Zubin Mehta
Director Pier'Alli
Recording: Palau de les Arts, Valencia, Spain 21,22,25 & 31/10/2006

Enjoyed during the holiday break - not received for review, but purchased after we'd seen only the first Act on SkyArts. It is that Act One in the prison entrance which allows the best opportunities for characterisation in this famous but uneven opera, seized to moving perfection by all concerned in the vocally fine Valencia production as filmed and edited over four days in October 2006.

The dungeon set is splendid, suggesting well its oppressive depth, and the rescue is moving as always, though it takes a long time for the spouses to actually get to be in each other's arms as their singing tells us they are...

The final scene (after the traditional but problematic insertion of the Leonora No 3 Overture, to the stamping delight of the Valencia audience; on DVD you can skip it) was anticlimactic and poorly directed; more like a concert performance, with the populous, including prisoners, like a concert choir and all the principals lined up front of a concert platform.

Leonora miraculously removes Florestan's manacles although Rocco still has the key, and Marzelline stands and sings between Rocco and Jaquino, unfazed by the revelation which has deprived her of her fiancé...

Peter Grahame Woolf

S&H Review of Revival 22.06.2011 (JMI)

and MusicalPointers' of Fidelio at OperaHollandPark 2003