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About this Piece

Fidelio is an especially emotional project for all who have been involved in it. This opera is connected in a very special way with the Deaf audiences, from the premiere in November 1805, when its composer was not able to listen to it. It is possible that, since then, this is the first time that Fidelio has been conceived so that Deaf audiences can fully enjoy it.

This project is also deeply connected with the sublime possibilities of human expression. All of us involved in this project feel that Fidelio will be a revealing experience for the Deaf and hearing audience. The creative integration that we are promoting has its roots in the most primal search of arts: beauty and communication. This collective effort has confronted all of us with very deep reflections about the integrative possibilities of art. We all feel that the experience elevates the perceptual discourse, taking us to places of deep sensitivity, based on the inspiring collective effort. The Deaf actors bring a gestural and emotional poetry that, when fused with the complex work of the singers, elevates the viewer’s experience to an unexpected place. Singers and Deaf actors have come together to create a single character that can express in greater depth the complexity of human nature.

Each of the characters in Fidelio is also played by a Deaf actor. With the intention of bringing the same emotional discourse of music to Deaf audiences, we have conceived with Deaf West Theatre that in moments in which there is a crescendo, the visual energy will grow too. An aria that at the beginning is narrated by a single Deaf actor, as the music grows, more Deaf actors will join it, so that now we have not one actor, but four or five, provoking a real visual crescendo, in an effort to bring musical discourse to the realm of the visual.

All of us who have come together around this project are deeply moved and honored by the challenge that lies ahead. —Alberto Arvelo