“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.” — Ludwig van Beethoven, German Composer and Pianist —
Today is the anniversary of ”Fidelio”, German composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera, premiering at Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1805. While Beethoven was a prolific artist, composing nine symphonies, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets and numerous concertos with a myriad of instruments, “Fidelio” was his only attempt at musical theater. The tale of a woman’s desperate attempt to rescue her husband from certain death as a political prisoner, “Fidelio” is a classic opera that is still performed more than two centuries after its debut performance. Written during a time that has been labeled by art critics as Beethoven’s middle period (1802-1812), “Fidelio” was the composer’s largest work to date, and although it was a critical failure at first, Beethoven revised the opera over several years, tailoring the libretto to perfection. After a renewal in Beethoven’s popularity during his late period (1812-1827), “Fidelio” was revived and became a massive commercial success.