It’s not all astronomy, programming, and devops around here. A few weeks ago, I got to see the Seattle Opera’s production of Fidelio. If you’re not familiar with Fidelio, go read about it over at Wikipedia and come back.

Fidelio is a curious opera in some ways. It is both Beethoven’s only opera, and the only rescue opera commonly performed today. It is, however, an excellent opera, and well worth seeing or listening to if you have the chance.

Musically I had no complaints about the Seattle production. There was one point where one of the singers sounded kind of quiet, but other than that I thought the singers and orchestra sounded good. The crowd scene at the end was impressive as well. All in all, except for the one inappropriately quiet point, the singers and orchestra did great.

My only complaint with the production was the setting. This production of Fidelio was set in a modern prison with people dressed like modern prison guards. (The prisoners themselves were wearing tattered and worn clothes, so that was harder to tell.) It was done well, but I still prefer more traditional productions. This one was, at least, done quite well while having a more modern feel, but I would have preferred 18th-19th Century costuming. I also prefer, say, Ring productions where they’re all dressed like Vikings, but that may just be me.

I would totally see a production of Nixon In China where they dressed up like Vikings though.

Work kept me too busy to get this up while the opera was still in performance in Seattle, so sadly if you missed it then you missed your chance. Fidelio is performed fairly often, though, and there’s a bunch of recordings of it out there.

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