Elza van den Heever & Russell Thomas Headline San Francisco Opera’s ‘Fidelio’

By Francisco Salazar

San Francisco Opera will continue its season with Beethoven’s “Fidelio.”

The company will present a new production by Matthew Ozawa which updates its original eighteenth-century prison setting to a modern government detention center. Music Director Eun Sun Kim conducts the opera which stars Elza van den Heever as Leonore, Russell Thomas, Greer Grimsley, James Creswell, and Soloman Howard.

For the first time in the history of the San Francisco Opera, performances of the work will be live streamed on Oct. 14, 17, and 20.

Speaking about the concept for his new production, Ozawa noted, “At the heart of ‘Fidelio‘ is the heroism of a woman, a vision for the modern age, whose personal sacrifice to free her husband from wrongful incarceration results in the liberation of all those imprisoned. Beethoven’s revolutionary opera remains as relevant today as the numerous times it has served as a symbol of hope for generations of people afflicted by forms of oppression. Our new production embraces Beethoven’s emotionally profound music while viewing the opera through a modern lens. My hope is that experiencing this opera not only helps us shine a light on injustice but reminds us that we too have the power to be agents of change.”

“Fidelio” opens on Oct. 14 and runs through Oct. 30 with a total of six performances.