‘Love has guided all my endeavours; true love knows no fear.’ Dressed as a man and under the name of Fidelio, Leonore takes a job as a helper in the jail where her husband Florestan is a political prisoner. By her love, tenacity, and sacrifice she is able to save Florestan from the clutches of the corrupt Don Pizarro. Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera, is not only a musical miracle, but also a humanist manifesto on love and fidelity, humanity with all its facets and layers, liberation and self-realisation, ethics and human obligations. You might call it an opera of revolution or a utopian drama, but it is above all a eulogy to mankind as it fights for human values. The conductor René Jacobs presents Leonore, the first version of this masterpiece, rather than Fidelio, the final version. He opts for a historically informed approach so as to spread Beethoven’s universal message of peace and justice with the greatest possible historical accuracy.