The West Bay Opera production of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fidelio” is scheduled to open next week in Palo Alto, with a free preview slated Thursday.
Based on a play by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, Beethoven’s only opera is an ode to freedom and the power of the human spirit – and a reminder that a single person can make a difference.
Sung in German with English titles, “Fidelio” premiered in 1805 in Vienna. West Bay first performed “Fidelio” in 1970.
The story centers on Florestan, who has been chained to a rock in a high-security prison for his attempt to bring to light Pizarro’s corruption and wrongdoing. Florestan’s intrepid wife, Leonore – disguised as a young man who calls himself Fidelio – gets herself hired into the prison and works tirelessly to free Florestan and other political prisoners.
The cast includes Brent Turner (as Florestan), Meredith Mecum (Leonore/Fidelio), Ben Brady (chief jailer Rocco), Kate Fruchterman (Rocco’s daughter Marzelline), Carmello Tringali (doorman Jaquino, Marzelline’s boyfriend), Krassen Karagiozov (prison governor Pizarro), Kiril Havezov (Prime Minister Fernando), Jackson Beaman (first prisoner) and Stephen Boisvert (second prisoner).
Jose Luis Moscovich serves as conductor and Ragnar Conde is the stage director. They are supported by Peter Crompton (set designer), Callie Floor (costume designer), Steve Mannshardt (lighting designer), Frederic Boulay (projection designer), Shirley Benson (properties designer), Lisa Cross (make-up designer) and Giselle Lee (sound designer).
Thursday’s preview – featuring highlights from the opera with piano – is set for 8 p.m. at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road.
“Fidelio” is scheduled to open 8 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road. Future shows are slated 2 p.m. Feb. 18, 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and 2 p.m. Feb. 25.
Tickets are $35-$85.
For advance tickets and more information, call 424-9999 or visit westbayopera.org.