Heartbeat Opera to Present ‘Fidelio’ Tour

By Francisco Salazar

New York’s Heartbeat Opera is set to mount a four-city tour of its 2018 adaptation of Beethoven’s masterpiece, “Fidelio,” which Heartbeat Artistic Director Ethan Heard conceived for the era of Black Lives Matter.

In Heartbeat’s production, Leonore is now “Leah,” a young Black woman, and her husband Florestan is “Stan,” a Black Lives Matter activist who has been wrongfully incarcerated by a white supremacist prison warden. Leah dreams that she becomes “Lee,” a female prison guard who attempts to rescue Stan from death in prison. Together with playwright Marcus Scott, Ethan Heard has made the dialogue fresh and American (with new updates since the 2018 version), eliminated two major roles, and altered the ending.

The tour opens in NY’s Metropolitan Museum on Feb. 10, 12, and 13, 2022, and is being performed at The Mondavi Center, UC Davis, CA on Feb. 19, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, AZ on Feb. 22, and The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA on Feb. 26 and 27.

The cast will include Derrell Acon and Kelly Griffin as Roc and Leah, Victoria Lawal as Marcy, Curtis Bannister as Stan, and Corey McKern as Pizarro.