I was really excited about this Fidelio when I did my planing for Proms 2017. Why? Because I am one of those awkward guys who loves Fidelio. A lot. But those who love opera use to say Beethoven was not good at opera and those who love instrumental Beethoven use to say Beethoven was not good at opera. It was the first opera performance at Proms 2017 with a young stars cast.

Pros about Fidelio:

  • It’s from fucking Beethoven, the most genius classical composer
  • It involves transvestism/cross-dressing and that is always a +1
  • The Gott scene
  • Choirs and freedom

Cons about Fidelio:

  • Tenor does not appear until the second part. Seriously Beethoven?
  • You feel like it has ended 15 mins before the actual ending and then you are filled of (nice) freedom choirs

After a very opera intense beginning of the summer (Covent Garden ROH season, Holland Park, RCM…) this was my first concert performance of an opera here in London and my 4th Prom.

Expectations: very high. I had heard Ricarda Merbeth as Senta and she totally blew up my mind. Mena is always a good asset for large symphonic/choral works. I didn’t know anything about Stuart Skelton so I youtubed for him and, dude, what a voice.

Did the performance match my expectations: totally. Ricarda started a little bit on the safe side but after a while she gave it all. And Stuart Skelton voice was stunning. His entrance, the famous “Gott” scream, was anthological (hello, Kaufmann) starting with a pianissimo, perfectly balanced crescendo and then diminuendo again. What a singing lesson. The choir, the Spanish Orfeon Donostiarra (non-professional!) was quite good and fits what Beethoven demands, although those who speak German will say that they were not idiomatic.

On the bad side, the RAH not having surtitles for non-English operas in 2017 is a NO GO.