Beethoven’s Ode to Humanity, Fidelio, Returns to Seattle Opera First Collaboration for Seattle Favorites Asher Fisch, Conductor, and Chris Alexander, Director

Seattle—Seattle Opera continues its 2012/13 season next month with Beethoven’s only opera: Fidelio, the story of a devoted wife who rescues her husband, unjustly imprisoned for his political beliefs.
Premiered in 1814, Fidelio’s message of love and hope overcoming tyranny and oppression remains as relevant today as ever.
Seattle Opera’s production of Fidelio, set here and now, opens on Saturday, October 13, and runs for six performances through October 27.
“Now, when political considerations affect us all, Fidelio portrays the spirit that inspired our Founding Fathers – freedom from tyrannical rule,” says Speight Jenkins, Seattle Opera’s General Director. “It is an opera for this time and for all time.”
Returning to the pit following this summer’s sensational Turandot is Principal Guest Conductor Asher Fisch, who has conducted Wagner and Strauss with extraordinary success at Seattle Opera.
Stage Director Chris Alexander recreates a production he originally directed in 2003.
At the time, Melinda Bargreen of The Seattle Times wrote, “With the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime at the forefront of world news, the opera sounds as fresh now as its premiere, nearly 200 years ago,” and went on to describe the production as “up-to-the-minute, and as poignant and timeless as the music itself.”
Set design is by Robert Dahlstrom, with costumes by Catherine Meacham Hunt and lighting by Duane Schuler.
German soprano Christiane Libor makes her U.S. operatic debut on opening night, as Leonore. called her “The incredible Christiane Libor, the German soprano who is becoming a sure thing at the international box office. Warm voice, silken legato, intimate mid-range and powerful, perfectly mastered high notes, radiant presence…she has all the makings of one of the greats” (translation by Seattle Opera).
Leonore goes undercover as a man—named “Fidelio”—to save her husband, Florestan, sung in this production by tenor Clifton Forbis.
In 2010, Forbis earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Tristan; The Seattle Times described him as “a tenor with a warm baritonal tinge to his voice, and equally adept in portraying the intermingled torment and ecstasy of his role.”
Soprano Marcy Stonikas, a former Seattle Opera Young Artist who this summer stunned audiences as Turandot, sings one performance as Leonore, on October 14. “Keep an eye on her career. It may skyrocket,” wrote The Stranger of Stonikas.
Fidelio also features audience favorites Greer Grimsley as the governor Don Pizarro and Arthur Woodley as head-jailer Rocco.
Grimsley, who won Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award for Wotan and the Wanderer in the ’05 Ring, will sing these roles in the Ring at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City next spring before taking them on again in Seattle in August of 2013.
Recent Seattle credits for Woodley include Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Ferrando in Il trovatore.
Rounding out the cast of Fidelio, Canadian tenor John Tessier, Tamino in Seattle Opera’s 2011 Die Zauberflöte, sings Jaquino and Issaquah, WA, native and former Seattle Opera Young Artist Anya Matanovič sings Marzelline.

Fidelio Production Sponsor: Ann P. Wyckoff
Christiane Libor’s performances are sponsored by The James and Sherry Raisbeck Lead Singers Fund.
2012/13 Season Sponsor: Gladys Rubinstein, in memory of Sam Rubinstein
Fidelio premieres Saturday, October 13, and runs through Saturday, October 27.
Tickets are available online at or by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619.
Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Ticket prices start at $25.

Press Contacts:
Jonathan Dean

Tamara Vallejos

Visuals Contact:
Monte Jacobson


Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Libretto by Joseph von Sonnleithner, with revisions by Stephan Von Breuning and Georg Friedrich Trietschke
In German with English captions
Revised Version Premiere: Kärtnertor Theater, Vienna, Austria, May 23, 1814
Previous Seattle Opera Performances: 1968, 1980, 1991, 2003

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington
6 Performances: October 13, 14 (matinee), 17, 20, 24, and 27, 2012
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, with one intermission
Evening performances begin at 7:30 pm, matinee at 2:00 pm

Groups save 15%: 206.676.5588
Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676/800.426.1619
Online orders:


Leonore: Christiane Libor † / Marcy Stonikas *
Florestan: Clifton Forbis
Rocco: Arthur Woodley
Don Pizarro: Greer Grimsley
Marzelline: Anya Matanovič
Jaquino: John Tessier
Don Fernando: Kevin Short

Conductor: Asher Fisch
Stage Director: Chris Alexander
Set Designer: Robert Dahlstrom
Costume Designer: Catherine Meacham Hunt
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler

Sets & Costumes: Seattle Opera

† Seattle Opera debut
* October 14 only

Anya Matanovič and Marcy Stonikas are former Seattle Opera Young Artists.

Fidelio Production Sponsor: Ann P. Wyckoff
Christiane Libor’s performances are sponsored by The James and Sherry Raisbeck Lead Singers Fund
2012/13 Season Sponsor: Gladys Rubinstein, in memory of Sam Rubinstein

Learn more about Fidelio!

Seattle Opera offers the following educational opportunities:

Pre-Performance Talks:
An hour and a half before every performance, in the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall, $7

Free Public Previews:
9/25/2012, 7 pm, Third Place Books
10/1/2012, 6:30 pm, West Seattle Library
10/3/2012, 6:30 pm, Edmonds Library
10/4/2012, 2 pm, Green Lake Library
10/7/2012, 2 pm, Frye Museum
10/9/2012, 12 pm, Freeland Library
10/10/2012, 2 pm, Ballard Library
10/11/2012, 12 pm, Seattle Central Library
10/20/2012, 2:15pm, Sylvan Way Library

About Seattle Opera

Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States.
The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon. Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and 50 states.


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Una risposta a Beethoven’s Ode to Humanity, Fidelio, Returns to Seattle Opera First Collaboration for Seattle Favorites Asher Fisch, Conductor, and Chris Alexander, Director

  1. Thanks very interesting blog!


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