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January 1970

Opera in two acts (1806)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Libretto by Joseph Sonnleitner and Stephan von Breuning


In German language with German surtitles
New production of the Theater an der Wien



Florestan's been missing for two years. His wife Leonore suspects that he is imprisoned in a secret prison, because he was an opponent of Governor Don Pizarro, who established a system of corruption and arbitrary violence to keep him in power. She believes that Florestan is in the same state prison as other political prisoners. Dressed as a man and under the pseudonym "Fidelio", she was hired as an assistant to the jailer Rocco. Through this position she hopes to find out if her husband is really in this prison. Rocco appreciates Fidelio's enthusiasm and business acumen. His daughter Marzelline even fell in love with the young man and turned away from her fiancé Jaquino. Leonore may be uncomfortable with the girl's deception, but her suspicion that a mysterious prisoner, whom Rocco has to look after alone, could be Florestan is becoming more and more entrenched. Thus, as Fidelio, she agrees to an early connection with Marzelline in order to gain Rocco's trust. Now she can ask her future father-in-law to accompany him to the secret dungeon. Time is running out, as Pizarro unexpectedly arrives and learns of an imminent inspection of the prisons. He now desperately wants to get rid of the secret prisoner. Since Rocco refuses to do so, he decides to commit the crime himself. With Fidelio's support, Rocco only digs a grave in the underground prison. It turns out that this prisoner, already on the verge of starvation, is indeed Florestan. When Pizarro storms into the dungeon to kill his opponent, Leonore throws herself in between with a pistol and reveals her true identity. The moment of shock is enough to give the inspecting minister and his people time to intervene. The minister is a friend of Florestan, who now recognizes and punishes Pizarro's machinations. With Florestan, all other victims of Pizarro's arbitrariness also come free. Leonore's love has won. 

Program and cast

Theater an der Wien

About the Theater an der Wien

The New Opera House is not just any theatre, but the one that Emanuel Schikaneder, the all-round genius, actor, impresario with a flair for organization but above all librettist of The Magic Flute, had built in 1801 in Vienna in keeping with the spirit of Mozart.

To coincide with the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth the Theater an der Wien presents itself as a new opera house from January 2006. As a “season” opera house with productions all the year round the Theater an der Wien carves a new and independent niche in the realm of high-quality culture in Vienna. For twelve months of the year, with one premiere every month, opera will be performed under the “stagione”, or season, system: that means the cast remains unchanged from the first performance to the last one, which guarantees that the very highest international standards are maintained.

The theatre’s modern, accessible approach to music theatre as demonstrated by the works performed, the overall artistic concept Bespielung and the artistes is further underlined by the building itself, its architecture and the vibrancy of its location. The surroundings and materials, the intimate atmosphere and perfect acoustics in the historical theatre prepare the senses to experience beauty. The Theater an der Wien deliberately enters into a symbiotic relationship with its lively surroundings on the Naschmarkt street market and the young cultural scene centred in the Schleifmühl quarter.

How to get there

With public transport:

We can be reached by public transport: 

U1, U2 und U4 Station Karlsplatz, Exit Secession
Bus 59A Station Bärenmühldurchgang
Bus 57A Station Laimgrubengasse, pedestrians via Laimgrubengasse to Linke Wienzeile

Fleischmarkt 24, 1010 Wien

We can be reached by public transport:
U1, U4: Station Schwedenplatz
Tram Linie D (bei Ablenukung über Kai), 1, 2: Station Schwedenplatz
Bus 3A (on workdays)

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