fri 14/08/2020

The Seckerson Tapes: Fidelio in Bergen | reviews, news & interviews

The Seckerson Tapes: Fidelio in Bergen

The Seckerson Tapes: Fidelio in Bergen

Norway's constitution is 200 next year. Cue Beethoven’s cry for freedom and tolerance

Andrew Litton in full flight

In the listening room of Grieg Hall, Bergen, a concert hall sometimes masquerading as a theatre and vice versa, I talk to Mary Miller, director of Bergen National Opera, and Andrew Litton, music director of the venerable Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra - about the genesis of opera in Bergen and the prospect of the big autumn production - Beethoven’s cry for freedom and political tolerance, Fidelio - which will serve as an upbeat to the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Norway’s constitution in 2014.

Miller talks about the creative freedom of an opera company which is project specific and not beholden to a roster of contracted artists while Litton endorses his passion for Beethoven and references the many reasons why this, his only opera, is so close to his heart. He speaks of Beethoven’s genius for self-editing, of innovation (the timpani not tuned to tonic/dominant for the great dungeon scene), of the supreme challenges of both vocal and instrumental writing. Most fascinatingly, in this staging of Fidelio the Bergen Philharmonic will quite literally become the main protagonist.

 

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