A free Education & Community Enrichment program:
Lecture: Rescued by Beethoven’s “Fidelio”
Professor of Music, Rider University
Wednesday June 14 at 7 pm
West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library
333 N. Post Road, Princeton Junction
Co-sponsored by the West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library
free and open to the public
Co-sponsored by The Princeton Festival Guild
The social and political upheaval in Europe in the late 18th century that spawned the French Revolution also sowed the seeds for a new opera genre posthumously called “Rescue Operas” in which the main protagonist (usually a tenor) is rescued from extreme danger or certain death by the heroic self-sacrificing actions of another, often the protagonist’s wife or lover. The outcome was almost always happy and represented the belief in the inevitable triumph of human will over injustice and tyranny.
It is not surprising that Beethoven, composer of the Eroica symphony and the monumental 9th symphony, was drawn to this genre. Just as his symphonies and string quartets set the standard by which all subsequent composers would be judged, so too did Beethoven’s single opera, Fidelio tower over all other Rescue Operas. Were it not for Beethoven’s Fidelio, the entire genre of Rescue Opera would be little more than a footnote. This talk will examine Beethoven’s music as it correlates to the drama and intensifies the emotional states of the several main characters.
Timothy Urban holds a M.M. degree in voice and recorder performance; a M.F.A. degree in early music performance practice; a M.A. degree in music theory and history; and a Ph.D. in musicology, specializing in music of the Italian seicento. He has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals, lectured, and guest conducted across the United States and internationally but most importantly, year after year, Princeton Festival patrons find Dr. Urban’s lectures on our opera’s music and plot essential to their enjoyment of the performance.