Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

This page lists all recordings of Fidelio, Op. 72, by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Jonas Kaufmann (Florestan), Adrianne Pieczonka (Leonore), Tomasz Konieczny (Pizarro), Hans-Peter König (Rocco), Olga Bezsmertna (Marzelline), Norbert Ernst (Jaquino), Paul Lorenger (Shadow Pizarro), Nadia Kichler (Shadow Leonore)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Konztertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Franz Welser-Möst

Staging: Claus Guth

Sets and costumes: Christian Schmidt

Claus Guth’s strikingly experimental new production drew fervent reactions at its premiere at the 2015 Salzburg Festival. On an elegantly spartan set - suggestive of Freud's ‘salon of the unconscious’ - the opera is reworked with amplified noises and ambient sounds substituting for the traditional dialogue and the inclusion of hand-signing doppelgangers who shadow some of the lead characters. “Jonas Kaufmann’s gorgeously sung Florestan”(Financial Times) and Leonora - “triumphantly sung by Adrianne Pieczonka” (The Guardian/Observer) - masterfully execute Guth’s conceptual exploration of the mind’s ability to self-impose its own prison.

Blu-ray Disc

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Sony - 88875193529

(Blu-ray)

$21.00

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Jeannine Altmeyer (Leonore), Siegfried Jerusalem (Florestan), Peter Meven (Rocco), Siegmund Nimsgern (Don Pizarro), Carola Nossek (Marzelline), Rudiger Wohlers (Jaquino), Theo Adam (Don Fernando), Klaus Konig (Erster Gefangener), Frank-Peter Spathe (Zweiter Gefangener)

Rundfunkchor und Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Kurt Masur

Sony - Sony Classical Opera - 88875194822

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.25

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Tom Krause (Don Fernando), Theo Adam (Pizarro), James King (Florestan), Eva Marton (Leonore), Aage Haugland (Rocco), Lilian Watson (Marzelline), Thomas Moser (Jaquino), Horst Hiestermann (Erster Gefangener) & Kurt Rydl (Zweiter Gefangener)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

“The musical performance is – of course – strictly organised, well played and unfailingly together on a nuts and bolts level…[James King] is a dependably moving Florestan, more nobly broken than defiant, still able to effect the role’s tricky turns. Eva Marton can be a thrilling Leonore when she opens up…Theo Adam delivers a thoroughly professional ‘bad guy’ Pizarro [and] Watson a superb, tinglingly fresh Marzelline” Gramophone Magazine, April 2016

“A fascinating release if not one that will dislodge those treasured studio recordings.” MusicWeb International, 6th March 2017

Up to 20% off Orfeo

Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or - Salzburger Festspieldokumente - C908152I

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $21.50

Special: $17.20

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Christa Ludwig (Leonore), Jon Vickers (Florestan), Walter Berry (Don Pizarro), Gottlob Frick (Rocco), Ingeborg Hallstein (Marzelline), Gerhard Unger (Jaquino), Franz Crass (Don Fernando), Kurt Wehofschitz (First Prisoner), Raymond Wolansky (Second Prisoner)

Philharmonia Chorus & Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

“One of the glories of recording history,” was how this Fidelio was hailed on its initial release in 1962. The intervening years have repeatedly affirmed its towering status. Otto Klemperer’s readings of Beethoven are proverbial for their grandeur and humanity, while the Leonore of Christa Ludwig and Florestan of Jon Vickers remain unsurpassed.

Warner Classics - The Home of Opera - 2564695614

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.25

(also available to download from $15.00)

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Live Recording from The Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1979


Elisabeth Söderström (Leonore/Fidelio), Curt Appelgren (Rocco), Elizabeth Gale (Marzelline), Robert Allman (Don Pizaro) & Anton De Ridder (Florestan)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & Peter Hall (stage director)

Sir Peter Hall’s outstanding 1979 Glyndebourne Festival Opera production of Fidelio remains remarkably faithful to the way Beethoven intended the opera to be. The stage directions of the original version – completed in 1814 after two revisions – are followed exactly by Sir Peter Hall. Yet he still manages to inject fresh excitement and suspense into Fidelio with John Bury’s original lighting and design providing a perfect framework for the drama and conflicts that centre on political intrigue and repression.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Bernard Haitink.

Don Florestan has been falsely imprisoned for threatening to expose the evils of governor Don Pizarro. While he starves to death with other political prisoners his wife, Leonore tries to find him. She disguises herself as the young man, Fidelio, and wins the confidence of the gaoler, Rocco and his daughter Marzelline.

Elisabeth Söderström portrays the courageous Leonore in such a riveting and outstanding performance that alone is worth the whole show. Elizabeth Gale as Marzelline and Curt Appelgren as Rocco bring this unique production to perfection.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Subtitle Languages: DE (Original Language), GB, FR, ES

Running Time: 128 mins

FSK: 0

“Haitink conducts a faultless, dynamic account of Fidelio. Fine singing from Söderström, De Ridder and Allman smoothes the wrinkles for Halls' 1979 staging.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 *****

“It is not perfect, but it is pretty close to that...the mono sound, taken from a television transmission, is rather variable...the stage of the old Glyndebourne Opera House is clearly small...What do these cavils matter, in the face of Peter Hall’s masterly production?...[Söderström] is superb, acting as always with total involvement and producing really heroic notes when required” MusicWeb International, 10th July 2013

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

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Arthaus Musik - 102307

(DVD Video)

Normally: $17.00

Special: $13.60

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Sena Jurinac (Leonore), Jan Peerce (Florestan), Gustav Neidlinger (Pizarro), Dezsö Ernster (Rocco ), Maria Stader (Marzelline), Murray Dickie (Jaquino), Frederick Guthrie (Fernando)

Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper & Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Hans Knappertsbusch

After a spell of recording with Decca, the legendary Wagnerian conductor Hans Knappertsbusch recorded for Westminster, and among his best recordings for this label is this 1961 recording of Fidelio, boasting a cast of great singers at the Austrian and German opera houses, including the much-loved Sena Jurinac.

“Sena Jurinac gives a deeply affecting performance in the Prison Scene … Jan Peerce was an unexpected but good choice for the hero. His singing is strong and clear; both words and musical phrases are firmly moulded; ardour and the ring of conviction inform his singing.”” Gramophone Magazine

“this strikes me as one of the noblest recordings ever made. Knappertsbusch is deeply searching; the singers are very fine.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 *****

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4806561

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.25

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Jonas Kaufmann (Florestan), Nina Stemme (Leonore), Falk Struckmann (Pizarro), Christof Fischesser (Rocco), Rachel Harnisch (Marzelline), Christoph Strehl (Jaquino), Peter Mattei (Don Fernando), Juan Sebastian Acosta (Erste Gefangener), Levente Pall (Zweite Gefangener)

Lucerne Festival Orchestra & Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Claudio Abbado

Read Presto's complete review of this recording here.

Recorded live at the Lucerne Festival 2010 with the Festival Orchestra, this Fidelio is led by the legendary conductor Claudio Abbado − making this release a major operatic event.

The central tenor role of Florestan is known as one of the most demanding and difficult in all opera. For his first complete opera recording for Decca, Jonas Kaufmann, “the world’s greatest currently performing tenor” (London’s Daily and Sunday Express), delivers everything the role demands: fearless tone, peerless style, and heart-stopping dramatic intensity.

“Abbado’s command of the score and its structure is consummate, the atmosphere palpable through his perceptive application of orchestral colour. The detail he elicits from his hand-picked Lucerne Festival Orchestra is phenomenal, the blend of sonorities aglow, the clarity of texture refined with a masterly touch.” The Telegraph, 23rd June 2011 *****

“Abbado and his hand-picked Lucerne orchestra certainly do not disappoint here, as Beethoven’s epic score is delivered with drama and incandescence...Kaufmann’s thrilling Florestan emerges with a gut-wrenching cry from his dungeon. The set is worth sampling for him alone.” Sunday Times, 26th June 2011 ***

“Jonas Kaufmann’s first note alone is a good reason to buy this new recording of Beethoven’s stirring opera...The effect makes your jaw drop, your pulse pause, your hairs stand on end...Abbado conducts with magisterial but selfless understanding. In the overture alone (Beethoven’s punchy fourth version is used) you feel electricity and humanity in every jabbing rhythm and lyrically sculptured phrase.” The Times, 1st July 2011 ****

“this is a “modern” Fidelio in so far as it espouses lightly pointed rhythms, transparent textures and attention to detail – but it also captures the hallowed glow of Beethoven tradition...Interest for opera fans lies primarily in Jonas Kaufmann’s Florestan: his aria, beginning on a thread of sound, is as much a meditation as a cry from the depths.” Financial Times, 9th July 2011 ****

“Abbado's contribution is without doubt extraordinary – a loving if slow interpretation, noble in its anguish and elation...An exceptional Florestan – arguably the finest since Jon Vickers's – from Jonas Kaufmann wonderfully conveys his moral greatness as well as the extremity of his suffering.” The Guardian, 7th July 2011 ****

“Under Claudio Abbado’s assured direction, the Mahler Chamber and Lucerne Festival orchestras derive a fantastic amount of energy...[Stemme] manages to imbue her Fidelio/Leonore role with the requisite disguised anguish...High praise also must go to the spellbinding ensemble work...Jonas Kaufmann also impresses, most of all in his lachrymose opening to the second act...Due in part to the relative infrequency of recordings of Fidelio, this is one in particular to be cherished.” Daniel Ross, bbc.co.uk, 1st July 2011

“the instrumental performance is faultlessly sensitive to the drama it is illustrating. The singing is heroic, both from Nina Stemme as Leonore/Fidelio and Jonas Kaufmann as Florestan. Rachel Harnisch is a touching Marzelline, Falk Struckman a terrifying Don Pizarro.” The Independent on Sunday, 24th July 2011

“Abbado leads a viscerally charged performance that flies to the very heart of the matter...One of the many glories of this thrillingly articulated Fidelio is the playing of the basses and lower strings sharp-featured and black as the pit of Acheron...This is the best-conducted Fidelio since Furtwängler's; a joy to experience and a privilege to possess.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011

“The real star of this performance...is the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, in whose hands the music seems to glow from within. The playing is thrilling throughout, with Claudio Abbado caressing every detail of Beethoven's score...The Arnold Schoenberg Choir rises to the occasion, too, producing hushed singing of great beauty in the Act 1 prisoners' chorus...Kaufmann is a commanding Florestan. His opening phrase as he lies in the depths of the dungeons is spine-tingling.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 ****

“Abbado brings elegance to everything he touches. In the event, Kaufmann is superb, Stemme sings with technical control and warmth of tone, and Abbado conducts with exemplary clarity.” Classic FM Magazine, October 2011 ***

“I could be in the minority when I state that I find this performance almost clinical...[Kaufmann] can do no wrong and, in fact, he does no wrong here, articulating his despair as well as his hope and desperation with great sincerity...Abbado is obviously going for a lean performance, and he succeeds; one hears things in both orchestra and vocal lines that are frequently smudged elsewhere.” International Record Review, September 2011

“this is a lean, chamber-sized account, every note precisely placed, but with enough punch for the drama to hit home...for superb technical playing, transparency of sound and with Stemme and Kaufmann in glorious voice, this is a Fidelio to treasure.” Opera Britannia, 6th October 2011

“From the opening flourishes of the overture, Abbado and his hand-picked festival orchestra arrest the attention...The ensemble-singing has the balance and synthesis which characterise the very best performances of Beethoven’s chamber-music...[Kaufmann's] first note alone is worth the price of the set...this is truly glorious, exhilarating music-making, and a superb document of one of the most thrilling live performances of 2010.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 20th June 2011

“My colleague Katherine would never forgive me if I didn't choose this live recording from the 2010 Lucerne Festival of Beethoven's only opera, conducted by Claudio Abbado and featuring the incomparable pairing of Nina Stemme as Leonore and Jonas Kaufmann as Florestan. His agonised cry of "Gott! Welch Dunkel hier!" after the slow orchestral build-up is astonishingly moving, and there's memorable support from Falk Struckmann as Pizarro and Christof Fischesser as Rocco.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

Presto Disc of the Week

20th June 2011

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Awards 2012

Best of Category - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - September 2011

Decca - 4782551

(CD - 2 discs)

$22.25

(also available to download from $20.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Birgit Nilsson (Leonore), Jon Vickers (Florestan), Hermann Uhde (Don Pizarro), Oskar Czerwenka (Rocco), Laurel Hurley (Marzellina), Charles Anthony (Jaquino) and Giorgio Tozzi (Don Fernando)

The Metropolitan Opera & Chorus, Karl Böhm

“the focus of interest falls primarily on the conducting...It's a white-knuckle ride of a performance in which he ratchets up the tension to the nth degree, reminding us that this grandest of humanitarian statements is essentially a thriller, and one of the finest ever written...The dialogue here is delivered with tremendous sincerity, at times shockingly intense.” The Guardian, 7th July 2011

“There is much to recommend this performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, recorded in clean mono sound. Karl Böhm was an immensely experienced conductor of this opera, and his account of the Leonore No. 3 Overture is thrilling. Jon Vickers, in one of his first Florestans, is in uneven voice, but committed. Birgit Nilsson makes an exciting Fidelio.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 ****

Sony Met Matinées - 88697853092

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.25

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Recorded live at the Zurich Opera House in October 2008.


Melanie Diener (Leonore), Roberto Saccà (Florestan), Lucio Gallo (Don Pizarro), Alfred Muff (Rocco), Sandra Trattnigg (Marzelline), Christoph Strehl (Jaquino), Krešimir Stražanac (Don Fernando), Boguslaw Bidzinski (First Prisoner), Morgan Moody (Second Prisoner)

Zurich Opera Orchestra & Zurich Opera Chorus, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & Katharina Thalbach (director)

Translucence, transparency – warmth’ are the qualities identified by Bernard Haitink as necessary for an ideal sound performance of Beethoven’s only opera, and all are present in this fantastic recording of Katharina Thalbach’s new production for Opernhaus Zurich. Haitink conducts the Zurich Opera Orchestra in a magnificent performance in which Leonore Overture No. 3 provides an interlude between the two scenes of the second act, following a tradition started by Gustav Mahler. German soprano Melanie Diener, in the role of Leonore, leads a brilliant cast including Alfred Muff as Rocco, Roberto Saccà as Florestan, Sandra Trattnigg as Marzelline and Christoph Strehl as Jaquino. This High Definition recording with true surround sound marks the start of an exciting new collaboration between Opus Arte and Opernhaus Zurich.

Extra features:

Illustrated synopsis

Cast gallery

Running time 149 mins

Region code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0 PCM & 5.0 DTS

Menu language EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA1023D

(DVD Video)

$28.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Recorded live at the Zurich Opera House in October 2008.


Roberto Saccà (Florestan), Melanie Diener (Leonore), Alfred Muff (Rocco), Sandra Trattnigg (Marzelline), Christoph Strehl (Jaquino), Lucio Gallo (Don Pizarro), Krešimir Stražanac (Don Fernando), Boguslaw Bidzinski (First Prisoner), Morgan Moody (Second Prisoner)

Zurich Opera Orchestra & Zurich Opera Chorus, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & Katharina Thalbach (director)

Translucence, transparency – warmth’ are the qualities identified by Bernard Haitink as necessary for an ideal sound performance of Beethoven’s only opera, and all are present in this fantastic recording of Katharina Thalbach’s new production for Opernhaus Zurich. Haitink conducts the Zurich Opera Orchestra in a magnificent performance in which Leonore Overture No. 3 provides an interlude between the two scenes of the second act, following a tradition started by Gustav Mahler. German soprano Melanie Diener, in the role of Leonore, leads a brilliant cast including Alfred Muff as Rocco, Roberto Saccà as Florestan, Sandra Trattnigg as Marzelline and Christoph Strehl as Jaquino. This High Definition recording with true surround sound marks the start of an exciting new collaboration between Opus Arte and Opernhaus Zurich.

Extra features:

Illustrated synopsis

Cast gallery

Running time 149 mins

Region code All regions

Video codec: AVC/MPEG-4 Disc size: BD50

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0 PCM & 5.0 DTS Master Audio

Menu language EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7040D

(Blu-ray)

$33.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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