Because the director, Frederic Wake-Walker, has identified, the opera’s themes of incarceration, loneliness, love, totalitarianism and escape are notably applicable in at this time’s post-Covid world, however there is no such thing as a want to bolster that all-too-obvious relevance. Changing the spoken dialogue by introducing one other character coming from a distinct period from the remainder of the solid and talking in English when they’re talking German, is a recipe for confusion.
I don’t assume I’ve ever seen an viewers look so bemused on the interval, questioning what a contemporary English major college instructor uttering a political tract based mostly on letters from jail of Nelson Mandela needed to do with the remainder of what we had been watching, which is ready in the course of the French Revolution.
Wake-Waller has proven previously that he’s one among our most imaginative and good administrators, notably in a wonderful manufacturing at Glyndebourne some years in the past of the teenage Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, however the one message one can draw this time is that one mustn’t fiddle with Fidelio.
What saves this manufacturing is constantly magnificent singing and appearing from the younger solid.
The plot considerations Leonora’s plan to disguise herself as a person named Fidelio to infiltrate a brutal jail the place her husband, Florestan is incarcerated by the vicious Don Pizarro.
Leonora herself is gloriously performed by the German soprano Dorothea Herbert whose efficiency shines strongly by means of the eccentricities of the manufacturing.
She is excellently supported by an outstanding trio of younger British singers: bass-baritone Dingle Yandell as Don Pizarro, bass Callum Thorpe because the noble head jailer, Rocco, and Adam Smith as Florestan.
This manufacturing was initially meant for the 2020 Glyndebourne Pageant, which was cancelled owing to Covid.
It was rescheduled as a part of this yr’s winter tour however has been dropped from touring – mercifully maybe – due to the cumbersome nature of the imaginative panopticon set, which options pictures of the solid projected onto a clear display surrounding the singers.
This design emphasizes the oppressive surveillance inherent in Florestan’s incarceration, however once more appears an elaborate solution to emphasise the apparent.
In abstract, I might decide this to be a five-star efficiency of a misguided, over-ambitious one-star manufacturing.
Tickets: glyndebourne.com/tour or 01273 815 000 (numerous dates till 31 October).