Mark Elder the new Fidelio Conductor at the Royal Opera House
Russian Conductor Pulls Out Following Back Problems
Last week the latest production of “Fidelio” at the Royal Opera House opened its doors and prior to its start-date those with opera tickets would have been anticipating the arrival of the well known and admired Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko leading the music. However, a press release from the Royal Opera House indicates that it is not Petrenko that has been working as the conductor on the production – with back pains cited as the reason for his departure. Instead it has been Mark Elder that has been working for the show.
Mark Elder is a Manchester-based conductor who is the music director of the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, among other duties. He has held the post since 1999 and it is just one part of a career that spans many decades, from work with the English National Opera and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and beyond. His credits include “Last Night of the Proms”, among others, though he has also won a Laurence Olivier Award for his part working for the English National Opera, with further honours that include his knighthood in 1998.
“Fidelio” follows the character of Leonore, who has concocted a plan to help her husband Florestan - who has been imprisoned thanks to his political views. She wants to do anything that she can and the plan she settles on is to disguise herself as a prison guard named Fidelio and hoping that this will aide in removing him from a situation likely to result in his death. The opera is renowned thanks to the admired music from Ludvig van Beethoven and in this case features the performing talents of Nina Stemme as Leonore, with her husband Florestan portrayed by Endrik Wottrich.
The show appears at the Royal Opera House during a season that is also welcoming productions such as “Aida” and “The Tsar’s Bride”, among others. The venue in Covent Garden has also been in the news recently due to rumours that it could become the next home of the Laurence Olivier Awards, following this year’s event at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
“Fidelio” began its run at the Royal Opera House on Tuesday 29th March 2011 and continues to Saturday 16th April 2011.