by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart’s opera of vengeance and forgiveness set during the Roman Empire.
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sings Sesto at the Met for the first time, and tenor Matthew Polenzani adds yet another role to his extensive Mozartean repertoire as Tito.
Composed at the very end of Mozart’s life, La Clemenza di Tito is written in the old style of opera seria, giving us the full flower of Mozart’s mature genius within a structure as formal and stately as a baroque garden. One of the final operas to be written in this genre, the work was composed to celebrate the coronation of Austrian Emperor Leopold II as King of Bohemia in Prague. Built around set arias displaying vocal virtuosity, Tito is an opera appreciated for its unique elegance and for Mozart’s unquenchable humanity, which transcends any limitations of genre.
The opera begins with a brilliant overture, reminding us that it was composed to honor a coronation. In general, though, the orchestra is used with great subtlety. The work is set in Rome in the year 80 CE, at the time of Titus’s accession to the imperial throne. The place, however, is much more of a symbolic, idealized forum for the exploration of political ideas than the actual historical city.
Conductor: Lothar Koenigs
SERVILIA: Ying Fang
VITELLIA: Elza van den Heever
SESTO: Joyce DiDonato
ANNIO: Emily D’Angelo
TITO: Matthew Polenzani
PUBLIO: Christian Van Horn
Start time: 10:00am on Capital Public Radio .
Approximate running time 2 hrs 52 min
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