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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Van Boer, Bertil H.
Rutschman, Carla Jean
Rutschman, Edward Raymond
The problematic, compositional development of Beethoven’s only rescue opera, Fidelio, which was written from 1804 to 1814, was inspired by a variety of late‐eighteenth century operatic forms, including Viennese and German Singspiel, French opéra comique rescue opera and Italian opera seria. The composer explored the technical aspects of these operatic forms in several compositions, in particular those written by Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf (Der Doktor und Apotheker, Vienna, 1786); Paul Wranitzky (Oberon, Vienna, 1789); Luigi Cherubini (Les deux journées, Paris, 1800); and André‐Ernest‐ Modeste Grétry (Richard Coeur‐de‐Lion, Paris, 1784). Focusing specifically on the compositional influence of Cherubini’s Les deux journées on Beethoven’s Fidelio, this Thesis will question Beethoven’s juxtaposition of Singspiel melody with the somber texture of the opéra comique aria in both acts of his rescue opera. Furthermore, the melodic form of Cherubini’s Les deux journées, strongly influenced by Grétry’s pre‐Revolutionary opéra comique Richard Coeur‐de‐Lion, was an operatic composition which indirectly affected Beethoven’s Fidelio. Overall, this Thesis establishes that Beethoven created in Fidelio an unfocused composition of previously‐established operatic genres of the Classical period, rather than sending forth a personal statement of late‐Classical, early‐Romantic operatic form.
Western Washington University
Subjects – Names (LCNAF)
Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827; Cherubini, Luigi, 1760-1842
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Evans, Kelly Evelyn, "The influences of German/Viennese singspiel and French opera comique Rescue Opera on Beethoven's Fidelio" (2011). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 125.