David Lang’s prisoner of the state

BBC Symphony Orchestra

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215 years after the first performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio, David Lang’s fresh view of the opera’s story – and reflection on its enduring power – receives its European premiere.

Beethoven loved the idea of freedom, but Lang's prisoner of the state re-examines Fidelio and discovers that in the 21st century, the issues that it raises about gender and personal identity are more than a match for the ideals of the enlightenment.

Lang’s ability to glimpse the emotional heart and soul of a story within his focused, distilled and highly absorbing music has won him a Pulitzer Prize. In this opera designed for performance with an orchestra on stage, both instrumentalists and audience bear witness to the story of a woman striving to rescue her partner from unjust imprisonment. 

End-time to be announced nearer the event.

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‘The whole [opera] is remarkably economical, its brief length and stripped-down dramaturgy letting it deliver its polemical charge with stunning impact. ‘

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