Title

The Reception of Beethoven's Fidelio in Vienna

Lead Author Major

Noelle Tutunjian

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Sarah Waltz

Faculty Mentor Email

swaltz@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Music History

Abstract/Artist Statement

The Viennese people have always had a special relationship with Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio (1804/1814). This has become especially apparent in modern times, as despite Vienna’s rich operatic tradition and repertory, Fidelio was chosen to reopen the Vienna State Opera House in 1955 (after it was destroyed during World War II). This special relationship seems illustrated by the fact that stagings of Fidelio remain largely unchanged from its premier in the nineteenth century, despite the fact that the Viennese enthusiastically modernize and update their other classic operas in performances across the city. This paper will illustrate these differences by comparing recent Fidelio stagings to stagings of other Viennese repertory, such as Mozart’s Magic Flute, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and suggest a relationship between the censorship and moral standards Fidelio was held to, and its lack of updating even in modern times. Reasons for Fidelio’s particular reception history will then be suggested and addressed, including the moral and political implications of Fidelio and their relation to Vienna’s reverence for its monarchs and the city of Vienna’s role as the center of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the integral role Beethoven played in Viennese society during his lifetime, and the importance of that reputation today. Understanding Vienna’s history makes it possible to understand why Fidelio remains such an unchanged and important work in Vienna today.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

29-4-2017 1:20 PM

End Date

29-4-2017 1:40 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 29th, 1:20 PM Apr 29th, 1:40 PM

The Reception of Beethoven's Fidelio in Vienna

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

The Viennese people have always had a special relationship with Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio (1804/1814). This has become especially apparent in modern times, as despite Vienna’s rich operatic tradition and repertory, Fidelio was chosen to reopen the Vienna State Opera House in 1955 (after it was destroyed during World War II). This special relationship seems illustrated by the fact that stagings of Fidelio remain largely unchanged from its premier in the nineteenth century, despite the fact that the Viennese enthusiastically modernize and update their other classic operas in performances across the city. This paper will illustrate these differences by comparing recent Fidelio stagings to stagings of other Viennese repertory, such as Mozart’s Magic Flute, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and suggest a relationship between the censorship and moral standards Fidelio was held to, and its lack of updating even in modern times. Reasons for Fidelio’s particular reception history will then be suggested and addressed, including the moral and political implications of Fidelio and their relation to Vienna’s reverence for its monarchs and the city of Vienna’s role as the center of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the integral role Beethoven played in Viennese society during his lifetime, and the importance of that reputation today. Understanding Vienna’s history makes it possible to understand why Fidelio remains such an unchanged and important work in Vienna today.