April 28, 2022
Beethoven in Virtual Reality, directed by Francesca Zambello. Tamara Wilson and Russell Thomas perform two masterpieces from Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio—including Leonore’s aria “Komm, Hoffnung” (Come, Hope)—accompanied in 360-degree audio by the Washington National Opera Orchestra, conducted by Principal Conductor Evan Rogister. In a secret underground cell, political prisoner Florestan suffers under tyrant prison governor Don Pizarro. But a light in the darkness is breaking: Leonore, Florestan’s wife, has disguised herself as male guard Fidelio for the ultimate undercover mission. By infiltrating the very system that oppresses her husband, can she be the voice that overthrows it? Beethoven premiered this story of resistance, freedom, and dissent during a time of complete European upheaval. If his “Ode to Joy” declares the universal triumph of peace over war, then his Fidelio is an inspiring ode to love’s transcendent power over tyranny.