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BEETHOVEN 2020 JOURNEY

Autumn events update

3 months ago


Cancellation of Chapters 7-9 and Interlude

Operatic ambition


By the time Beethoven was 32 years old he was one of the pre-eminent musicians in Vienna, riding high on his success. However, his long held ambition to write a successful opera had yet to reach fruition. Try as he might, he simply didn’t have the same feel and understanding for dramatic vocal music as he did for instrumental works. Nonetheless, when a golden opportunity to write an opera was presented to him, he eagerly set to work…

A long road…


Several years and two storylines later, he completed his first opera and the premiere was set for 20 November 1805 in Vienna. Then, disaster struck. Days before the opening night 15,000 French troops marched into the city, leaving few residents brave enough to leave their homes, let alone venture a trip to the theatre. The result? Beethoven’s opera premiered to a half empty house, with an audience made up mainly of French officers, accompanied by opportunistic prostitutes. Unsurprisingly, the production was a failure. The opera was also not without its faults, chief amongst them that it was overly long. Encouraged and cajoled by some of his admirers, Beethoven set to work on revisions. It would be another nine years (including one spectacular act of self-sabotage) before the premiere of the final version, named Fidelio, brought him his long-awaited operatic success.

Beethoven Journey


Like Fidelio, our Beethoven 2020 Journey has been a number of years in the making. Our aim: to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with an in-depth exploration of his life and music, in order to reveal the man behind some of the greatest musical achievements in history. However, the coronavirus pandemic has upended our carefully prepared plan with the same indiscriminate mercilessness as the French army entering Vienna…

To date we have had to cancel almost half of the Journey and at this point it feels like we would be doing Beethoven a disservice to hobble our way to the end, even if we could. So we have taken the decision to cancel the remaining events – Chapters 7-9 and Interlude – with the aim of rebooting the Journey in due course.

We will be issuing refunds to anyone who has bought tickets to these events (including the remaining refunds to bundle ticket holders) from Thursday 3 September. If you would prefer to donate the cost of your tickets to support the organisation, please let us know before then. For now, we are busy working behind the scenes, dreaming up new ways to bring this incredible story and music to you. Watch this space!


Nicholas Little, Founder and Artistic Director

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