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Edward Elgar

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This blog will be more of a short review of Beethoven's Fidelio since I have just got back from the theater and it is fresh in my mind.

It was an Opera North production at Leeds Grand. Below is a link to the cast list e.t.c.

First of all the music. My God! And by God I mean of course Beethoven. The music had a transparency and a physicality that is unique to Beethoven. This opera was more a singspiel and therefore had a lot of connecting dialogue which I liked as it provided a pleasant separation of the arias. What bowled me over was the last chorus which was just a wall of sound. Definitely a practice-run for the 9th.

The story reveals Beethoven's values and ideals about justice and politics more than anything else. My favorite character has to be Rocco. He loves money but he won't be bribed into committing murder. In this production, Don Pizarro was dressed like a city banker which I loved. The scenery was simple so as not to distract from the music, but very rarely was the whole stage revealed giving an appropriate sense of claustrophobia.

This was one of the best experiences I've had at the opera. We (me and my girlfriend) had no-one sitting either side of us which gave us lots of lovely leg-room. (It also meant there were no fat wheezing men annoying me by breathing too loudly.) Also, there were no annoyingly tall people sat in-front of us, just little old ladies.

I'll end with my favorite quote from the opera:

"Oh, what a joy in the open air to breathe with ease. Only here is life."
Classical Music , Personal , Opera