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(Beethoven: Fidelio). Ten. A Spanish nobleman, husband of Leonore. Secretly imprisoned by his enemy Pizarro. His wife Leonore dresses as a man (Fidelio) to work at the prison as the gaoler's assistant. She confirms that her husband is the special prisoner being held in a dungeon, whose grave she helps to dig. She manages to give him a little water and bread, but Florestan does not recognize her. She prevents Pizarro stabbing her husband just as the King's Minister arrives to free him and his fellow‐prisoners. Aria: Gott! Welch’ Dunkel hier! (‘God! How dark it is here!’); duet (with Leonore): O namenlose Freude! (‘Oh, nameless joy!’). The role of Florestan demands great vocal stamina from a tenor—the difficult tessitura almost requires a Heldentenor. Famous Florestans have included Enrico Tamberlik, Julius Patzak, Torsten Ralf, Jan Peerce, Wolfgang Windgassen, Ernst Haefliger, Jon Vickers, James McCracken, and Anton de Ridder. Created (1805) by Friedrich Christan Demmer.

Subjects: Opera.

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