Abstract

Ludwig van Beethoven's 1805/6 Leonore and its 1814 revision, Fidelio, had contrasting political, biographical, and cultural contexts. Leonore took form against the background of contemporary French rescue operas and of Beethoven's commitment to heroism as a personal and social ideal. The 1814 version shifted its perspective to celebrate the benevolence of rulers, in anticipation of the impending Congress of Vienna and the restoration of monarchies after Napoleon's downfall.

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