Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio

(2022 words)
  • Jeremy Tambling (University of Hong Kong)

Ludgwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), born in Bonn and living in Vienna from 1792 onwards, wrote only one opera, Fidelio, though he had begun drafting Vestas Feuer for Shikaneder, librettist for Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and had taken lessons in setting Italian texts from the Gluck-inspired opera-composer Antonio Salieri (1750-1825). Fidelio exists in three versions, of 2 November 1805, 29 March 1806 and 23 May 1814. Other occasions where Beethoven moved towards writing opera were his Coriolan overture for Heinrich von Collin's play (1808), sketches for a Macbeth with Collin in a translation by Schiller, before Collin died in 1811, incidental music in 1810 for Goethe's Egmont and …

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Tambling, Jeremy. "Fidelio". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2002
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]