LA Philharmonic to Tour FIDELIO with Deaf West Theatre to London, Paris & More

The LA Phil’s semi-staged production of Beethoven’s Fidelio has its world premiere in 2022 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The idea for the production was originally developed by Gustavo Dudamel through the Dudamel Foundation, which he co-chairs with his wife, actress María Valverde, as a means of elevating Deaf artistry to illuminate the opera’s central theme: the fight to overcome obstacles in order to discover one’s own personal freedom. This collaboration became a reality through the combined vision of LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, director Alberto Arvelo and Deaf West Theatre’s Artistic Director DJ Kurs during the 250th anniversary celebration of Beethoven’s birth. With the support and collaboration of the LA Phil, the Tony Award®- winning Deaf West Theatre, and Deaf performers of El Sistema of Venezuela’s Coro de Manos Blancas (White Hands Choir), the production explores Beethoven’s only opera through the lens of his identity as a Deaf artist who was losing his hearing when Fidelio premiered in 1805.

Now this landmark production will be revived at Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 16 and 17, 2024, after which the LA Phil and Dudamel will take Fidelio on tour to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu (May 26 and 27, 2024), the Philharmonie de Paris (May 31, 2024), and London’s Barbican Centre (June 3, 2024).  

Created for both Deaf and hearing audiences, the production will be presented with the original creative team. Approximately 170 musicians, cast, and choir members will participate in the 2024 European tour, which will mark the first European tour for Deaf West Theatre, and the first European performances for the LA Phil since 2019. Tickets to all performances are currently on sale. 

Gustavo Dudamel said, “Throughout the LA Phil’s history, we have been committed to reducing barriers for audiences to participate in musical experiences. When we first presented Fidelio in 2022, we were amazed by how audiences connected to the work in new and unexpected ways. We are thrilled not only to have the opportunity to bring this production back to Los Angeles, but to be able to introduce Beethoven’s only opera to European audiences in a way that has never before been done.” Dudamel added, “It is a great honor again to partner with Deaf West Theatre and El Coro de Manos Blancas, who we collaborated with to create this production, as we further our mission to show the world the truly transformational power of music.”

Deaf West Theatre artistic director DJ Kurs said, “Our groundbreaking production of Fidelio with the LA Phil united Deaf and hearing individuals on a global basis, on stage and within the audience. Up until our production, opera was an art form that was considered inaccessible to Deaf people. Bringing the show to a world stage feels timely, relevant and important because we are bringing Beethoven’s work forth in a way that transcends perceived differences in the truest sense. We cannot wait to share the beauty of this collective experience with new and international audiences.”

The LA Phil’s Fidelio places Deaf artists at the core of the opera’s narrative, a timeless tale of triumph over oppression in which the noble Leonore daringly goes undercover to rescue her husband from political imprisonment. Conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and directed by Alberto Arvelo with co-director Joaquín Solano, the production will feature singers Tamara Wilson, Andrew Staples, James Rutherford, Gabriella Reyes, Shenyang, David Portillo, and Patrick Blackwell. Deaf West Theatre performers include Amelia Hensley, Daniel N. Durant, Hector Reynoso, Sophia Morales, Mervin Primeaux O’Bryant, Otis Jones and Giovanni Maucere. Participating choirs for the tour include the Cor del Gran Teatre de Liceu (Pablo Assante, conductor, Spain) and Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana (Xavier Puig, conductor, Spain). YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s initiative to ensure fundamental and equitable access to the arts for youth, will be joining the 2024 tour in Barcelona and Paris, where they will participate in educational activities with young musicians from across Europe.

”Beethoven’s Fidelio was composed during the composer’s struggle with progressing deafness, and resonates with the energy of what he was experiencing at this time in his life,” said Arvelo. “This production of Fidelio integrates different worlds and languages, serving as a metaphor for art’s capacity to serve as a unifying force. I’m so glad to reunite with Deaf West Theatre, El Coro de Manos Blancas, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, and our partners in Europe, to share this transformative experience with a global audience.”

The Tour will also include a second program featuring Dudamel conducting the young violinist María Dueñas, a frequent collaborator with the LA Phil, in the European premiere of Altar de cuerda by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz. The violin concerto was commissioned by the LA Phil as a piece for Dueñas who performed its 2022 world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the LA Phil. The symphonic program will be performed at Palau de la Musica on May 28, the Philharmonie de Paris on May 31, and the Barbican Centre on June 2. Ortiz’s new work will be presented with John Williams’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme, written for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”. 

The LA Phil and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will release Revolución diamantina, an album of orchestral music from Gabriela Ortiz, including Altar de Cuerdas performed by María Dueñas, on the Platoon label on June 7, 2023. Altar de Cuerdas will be released on all streaming platforms on 10 May.

The LA Phil’s tradition of touring dates back to its inaugural 1921 tour across the western United States. With the exception of 2020-2021 season tour, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic closures, the LA Phil has toured annually since the 1969/70 season, performing at some of the most acclaimed music venues and festivals in the world, in cities including Tokyo, Seoul, Mexico City, and New York. 

LA Phil 2024 Tour

Beethoven’s Fidelio with Dudamel and Deaf West Theatre

Dudamel conducting the LA Phil’s European premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’s Altar de cuerda with violinist María Dueñas; program also includes Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”

Performance Dates:

Los Angeles

FIDELIO: May 16 and 17 – Walt Disney Concert Hall


FIDELIO: May 26 & 27 – Gran Teatre del Liceu
ORTIZ/DVOŘÁK: May 28 – Palau de la Musica


ORTIZ/DVOŘÁK: May 30 – Philharmonie de Paris
FIDELIO: May 31- Philharmonie de Paris


ORTIZ/DVOŘÁK: June 2 – Barbican Centre
FIDELIO: June 3 – Barbican Centre

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Alberto Arvelo, director
Joaquín Solano, co-director

Deaf West Theatre, produced by DJ Kurs
Colin Analco, sign language choreographer
Solange Mendoza, costume designer
Gabriela Camejo, artistic producer, Karibanna Content
Coro de Manos Blancas
       María Inmaculada Velásquez Echeverría, conductor
Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu
       Pablo Assante, conductor
Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana
       Xavier Puig, conductor

Tamara Wilson (singer); Amelia Hensley (actor)

Andrew Staples (singer); Daniel N. Durant (actor)

James Rutherford (singer); Hector Reynoso (actor)

Gabriella Reyes (singer); Sophia Morales (actor)

Don Pizarro
Shenyang (singer); Mervin Primeaux O’Bryant (actor)

David Portillo (singer); Otis Jones (actor)

Don Fernando
Patrick Blackwell (singer); Giovanni Maucere (actor)

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