Fidelio – The Synopsis

Shortly before Florestan was able to reveal the criminal machinations of the governor Don Pizarro, the latter had him kidnapped and illegally imprisoned. Ever since, Leonore, Florestan’s wife, has been searching for her husband, generally believed to be lost. In disguise, she gains entry to the state prison, where she convinces Rocco, the jailer, to hire her as his assistant under the name of Fidelio. Rocco’s daughter Marzelline has fallen in love with Fidelio.


Act I

Jaquino, one of Rocco’s employees, demands that Marzelline give in to his demands to marry him. While previously fond of him, Marzelline now rejects Jaquino. She longs for a future with Fidelio. Rocco values Fidelio as a son-in-law and agrees to a wedding with his daughter; he also rejects Jaquino. Leonore takes advantage of Rocco’s trust, asking him to allow her to accompany him into a dungeon where she suspects her husband Florestan. Rocco promises to ask Pizarro for permission for her to work in the secret dungeons. Pizarro appears and learns from a letter that Don Fernando, the minister, is planning to inspect the prison, having learned that victims of arbitrary violence are being held here by Pizarro. Pizarro wants to prevent Florestan’s discovery and tells Rocco to kill him in secret before the minister arrives. Rocco refuses to carry out Pizarro’s command, but agrees to dig a grave for Florestan inside the cistern. Leonore, who has secretly listened to their conversation, gathers new courage and gains permission to have the prisoners released from the upper cells for a short while. In the meantime, Rocco has secured permission for the wedding and Fidelio’s assistance in the lower dungeons. Pizarro storms back in, furious about the prisoners’ unauthorized break from their cells, urging Rocco to hurry up with his mission in the subterranean vault.


Act II

Florestan is languishing in the dungeon, close to death. He has a vision of hope in which his wife Leonore appears to him as a saving angel. Leonore and Rocco de[1]scend to the dungeon and dig the grave. Leonore urges Rocco to give the prisoner food and drink; only after Florestan has woken up does she recognize her husband. Pizarro appears to kill Florestan himself. At the last moment, Leonore throws herself between them, revealing that she is Florestan’s wife. A trumpet signal announces the arrival of Don Fernando, the minister. In the presence of the people, the minister speaks on behalf of the King against tyrannical oppression and political despotism. In the prisoner, he recognizes his friend Florestan, whom he had believed dead. Rocco informs the minister about Pizarro’s unauthorized actions and Leonore’s re[1]scue mission. Pizarro is taken away; Marzelline is aghast at the deception Leonore has practiced upon her. Florestan is liberated, and Leonore’s deeds are praised.

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag


News about the schedule
and the start of advance booking
Personal recommendations
Special offers ...
Stay well informed!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive 25% off your next ticket purchase.

* Mandatory field



Adventskalender 2023

Just like cinnamon and biscuits, the musical Advent calendar is an integral part of the pre-Christmas period. In keeping with the motto "brevity is the spice of life", we will once again be presenting a varied programme in December from Monday to Friday from 5.00 p.m. in the foyers or in the Tischlerei to sweeten the wait for the big festive season. From the presentation of the new scholarship holders, who enrich the vocal ensemble, to readings, piano music and Christmas brass, to a visit from St Nicholas, there's something for everyone. Come along and experience our artists up close!

Our Advent Foyer Programme
Visit our chamber concerts and readings from Monday to Friday, from 5.00 p.m. to approx. 5.25 p.m., in the Rank foyer on the right, in the Parquet Foyer or in the Tischlerei. Admission is free.

1 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"An American Christmas" - Favourite songs from North and South America
with Julie Wyma, Valeria Delmé and Jamison Livsey

4 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
African American Spirituals
with Christian Simmons and John Parr

5 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
César Franck: Sonata in A major for violin and piano
with Elisabeth Heise-Glass and Elda Laro

6 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
St Nicholas comes to visit
with Gerard Farreras, Jens Holzkamp and the Junge Deutsche Oper

7 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
"Christmas is here again"
with the small chorus of the children's chorus, Rosemarie Arzt and Jisu Park

8 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
Excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Christmas Oratorio"
with soloists from the children's and youth chorus and the chorus

11 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
"Ding Dong! Merrily on High"
with the VoiceChangers and Rosemarie Arzt

12 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
Our scholarship holders introduce themselves
with Hye-Young Moon, Lilit Davtyan, Youngkwang Oh and Pauli Jämsä

13 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Jewish music for Hanukkah
with Daniel Draganov, Natalie Buck and Maxime Perrin

14 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Roses et papillons" - songs by César Franck
with Andrea Schwarzbach and Christian Zacker

15 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Maurice Ravel: "Chansons madécasses"
with Arianna Manganello, Elda Laro, Arne-Christian Pelz, Ruth Pereira-Medina

18 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Four tubas for a Merry Christmas"
with Vikentios Gionanidis, Péter Kánya, Thomas Leyendecker and Thomas Richter

19 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
Karol Szymanowksi: Sonata for violin and piano, op. 9
with Magdalena Heinz and Elda Laro

20 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
The golden era of bel canto
with Arianna Manganello and Elda Laro

21 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" - A reading
with Dietmar Schwarz and Fanny Frohnmeyer

22 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
Christmas singing together
with the brass players of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

All further information in the respective daily door on our homepage

Raffles at the weekends
Because an Advent calendar is of course also filled at weekends and on Christmas Eve, you will find online prize draws on our homepage on Saturdays and Sundays as well as on 24 December. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our co-operation partners such as NAXOS and Sauerländer Audio.