La Clemenza di Tito
An opera in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Caterino Mazzolà after Pietro Metastasio
Recording Date: Summer 2017
Lewes, United Kingdom
Sung in Italian with English subtitles
W.A. Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito
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Mozart’s sublime late opera La clemenza di Tito returned to the Glyndebourne Festival in 2017 with a new staging by Claus Guth, whose earlier modern-dress productions of the three Mozart-Da Ponte operas at the Salzburg Festival were hailed as brilliant masterpieces of direction.
At Glyndebourne, Guth invoked modernity again with his characterization of Tito as a remote ruler-manager isolated from his subjects in a bright white office. The contemporary aesthetic goes hand in hand with potent symbolism and insights into the complicated psychology of the characters. The disoriented conspirators, with a Sesto who is possibly even more deeply implicated than Vitellia, are seemingly trapped in a maze of reeds and grasses below Tito’s residence. As they aimlessly wander through the dense thickets, we see them conflicted by the discordant voices in their minds. When vengeful anger drives us to use and hurt others, how far dare we go before heeding the inner voice of conscience?
Glyndebourne’s cast is headed by Richard Croft’s Tito, who ‘sang with exemplary stylistic poise and tonal sweetness’ (The Telegraph). Alice Coote as Vitellia is ‘in terrific form, her voice ranging from melting upper register to contralto growls’ (The Express). The Anglo-French mezzo Anna Stéphany was described by the Telegraph as ‘the evening’s undoubted star’, while the Guardian wrote that she ‘trawls Sesto’s emotional and moral anguish with tragic intensity’. With the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a first-rate historically informed ensemble is in the pit, and Mozart’s score is ‘played eloquently on the OAE’s period instruments under Robin Ticciati’s assured and sensitive direction’ (The Evening Standard).
This performance was filmed at the Glyndebourne Summer Festival in August 2017 by François Roussillon, one of the most brilliant film producers and directors working in opera today.
With the support of the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée
Photo Credit: Robbie Jack