Beethoven “Fidelio” production to use recorded voices of inmates from four prisons

Posted on: March 26, 2018

“Inmates at six Midwest correctional facilities will perform in a New York production of Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera ‘Fidelio’ without leaving prison,” reports David Williams on Friday (3/23) at CNN. “The story still felt contemporary to Heartbeat Opera director Ethan Heard, who adapted the story to focus on an African-American activist and his wife…. A key moment in the opera is the ‘Prisoners Chorus,’ so Heard and musical director Daniel Schlosberg decided to work with actual prisoners [at] four prisons in three states…. Their first stop was Coralville, Iowa, on Tuesday, to work with the Oakdale Community Choir, which is made up of inmates at the Oakdale Prison and members of the community. Then they drove to Ohio for practices at the London Correctional Institution and the Marion Correctional Institution. They’re driving to Kansas on Friday for more rehearsals…. All six choirs will record their parts next month and Schlosberg will weave them together into the finished song…. Heard said the inmates seemed really grateful for the experience and some were trying to get family and friends to go see it when it opens in New York in May. ‘It’s been a really moving, exciting experience,’ Heard said.”

Posted March 26, 2018