Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stars of Utah Opera's Production of "Fidelio" Discuss Beethoven

Brenda Harris and Corey Bix in Utah.
"Beethoven’s music can be split into three periods. His early period music exemplified the classical period of music, being very similar to the works of contemporaries like Mozart. The late period moved toward romanticism. It was during his middle or heroic period at the beginning of the 19th century that Beethoven wrote Fidelio. His works at the time mirrored his personal struggles with his increasing deafness. The music of Beethoven’s middle period, including this opera, relies heavily on themes of suffering and heroism. 'It has the orchestral genius of Beethoven in it, which is pretty spectacular,' said tenor Corey Bix, who plays Florestan in the opera. 'There’s lots of textural detail.' Bix conversed back and forth with his co-star, Brenda Harris, who plays Leonore, about the musical score of the opera. 'It’s really pivotal,' Harris said. 'It bridges a gap,' Bix added. 'Yeah,' Harris agreed, 'you listen to it, and it’s just a giant bridge to the whole musical world of the later years. They went on to discuss how they easily hear elements of romantic composer Franz Schubert’s style in the score, evidencing Beethoven’s major role in the transition from the classical period of music to the romantic. Baritone Mark Schnaible, who plays the villainous Don Pizarro, believes that the opera is pivotal not only in the entire musical world, but also for the composer’s works specifically. He said that it is interesting to listen to this opera and then compare the symphonies that came before and after it. I think for music lovers it will be fascinating (to attend),' he said." [Source]

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