San Francisco Symphony Presents Fidelio

PLEASE NOTE: New season of the American Opera Series begins May, 2017. The information below will be updated prior to the release of the American Opera Series to reflect the 2017 series.

The San Francisco Symphony gave its first concerts in 1911 and has grown in acclaim under a succession of distinguished music directors: Henry Hadley, Alfred Hertz, Basil Cameron, Issay Dobrowen, Pierre Monteux, Enrique Jordá, Josef Krips, Seiji Ozawa, Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt, and Michael Tilson Thomas, who assumed his post in 1995. The SFS has won such recording awards as France’s Grand Prix du Disque, Britain’s Gramophone Award, and the United States’s Grammy. Each year the Symphony offers Adventures in Music, the longest running education program among this country’s orchestras, which brings music to every child in grades 1 through 5 in San Francisco’s public schools. In 2006, the SFS launched the multimedia Keeping Score on PBS-TV and the web. For more information, go to

As part of its 2015 Beethoven Festival, the San Francisco Symphony presented concert performances of the composer’s only opera, Fidelio, a work which turns the rescue opera genre on its head, proving itself a profound parable on feminine strength, marital devotion, and Enlightenment values. For Beethoven, the love of opera was lifelong and not fairly requited. Scheme after scheme on diverse subjects failed to gel, and the success of the one opera he actually wrote, the work that began as Leonore and came finally to be called Fidelio, arrived slowly and late—and at the cost of immense pain.

This program is a part of the American Opera Series, a series designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts to fill out the year with great Opera content. The series begins in May and lasts until November (exact dates are published in the first quarter of the year).


Category: Operas
Duration: 2-hour / Varies by Opera
Frequency: Flexible
Availability: 11/26/2016 - 11/26/2016

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  • Host: Rik Malone
  • Producer: San Francisco Symphony; Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director; Sakurako Fisher, President; Brent Assink, Executive Director
  • Recording Engineer: Jack Vad
  • Audio Post-Production Engineers: Roni Jules, Jason O’Connell
  • Program Notes: (adapted from those written by) James M. Keller, Michael Steinberg