In 1814, Beethoven created the version of his opera Fidelio we know today. It is one of the most intense and moving of all music dramas, a celebration of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. It was first written and staged nine years earlier, in November 1805, while Vienna was still under occupation by Napoleon's armies and folded after only three performances. But in the celebratory mood that pervaded the City after Napoleon's abdication in 1814, the newly revised opera was a success and went on to secure its place in the repertoire. Donald Macleod explores key music and events of Beethoven's year.