Reconstruction of unfinished Beethoven opera ‘Vestas Feuer’

Based on a fragment and sketches by Ludwig van Beethoven Unv 15 Hess 15

The 401NederlandseOperas Foundation and Cees Nieuwenhuizen reconstructed Vestas Feuer in relation to the handbook on Dutch operas by artistic director René Seghers. The first part of that handbook covers the period from 1600 to the end of the French era in 1814 and examines the provocative theory that Beethoven was born in Zutphen instead of Bonn. During that research Seghers discovered a virtually unknown opera torso by Beethoven from 1803, entitled Vestas Feuer. The torso was composed on a text by Emanuel Schikaneder, the librettist of Die Zauberflöte. It concerned a partially worked out first scene and more than 80 sketches for the sequel. There were two performance scores from the first scene long before historical performance practice. The sketches had never been viewed before.

For the reconstruction, Seghers contacted Cees Nieuwenhuizen, whom he considers to be the world’s expert in Beethoven reconstructions. Cees had been waiting for decades for interest in Vestas Feuer. This created a flying collaboration that resulted in a spectacular performance score, containing two large arias from the sequel to the opera. Cees Nieuwenhuizen: “The last two Beethoven world premieres in the opera field, because there are no more sketches”. The premiere took place at the Zutphen Beethoven Festival on June 10, 2022.

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Vestas Feuer - Scène 1

by Beethoven/Cees Nieuwenhuizen | Vestas Feuer Reconstructed

Title: Vestas Feuer | Oper in Zwei Akten

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

Reconstruction: Cees Nieuwenhuizen

Instrumentation: Orchestra

Publication number: UM0100

ISMN-number: 9790803559485

Product format: Score


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