La clemenza di Tito (Mozart 22)

Mozart was still working on "The Magic Flute" when he was commissioned to
write a festive opera for the coronation of Leopold II in Prague as King of
Bohemia on 6 September 1791. Though in poor health, he accepted, even
though he had little more than four weeks to write it. He immediately had
Metastasio's text revised by the poet Mazzolà, who not only built in the
duets, trios, quintet and sextet that Mozart needed to hone the work's
emotional veracity, but also brought the abstract political dimension down
to a human, emotional level. From a lofty reflection on politics and
justice, it became a conflict between friends and lovers.
Emperor Titus plans to marry Berenice, thus arousing the rage of Vitellia.
She urges Sesto, who loves her, to lead a revolt against Titus. After
further complications, Titus resolves to marry Vitellia. Vitellia tries to
stop Sesto, but in vain: he has burned down the Capitol and tried to kill
his best friend Titus. The Emperor escapes, but, surrounded by manipulation
and betrayal, the future seems bleak¿
This opera seria, Mozart's very last opera, is both a distillate of late
18th-century opera as well as an anticipation of the 19th-century opera
with its tormented heroes. Director Martin Ku¿ej tells the story
straightforwardly, digging into the substrata of the work to bring out the
complex psyches of the characters, their neurotic impulses, their sexual
drives and the motives of their intrigues. Ku¿ej's "Clemenza" is a mad
whirl of love, murder, arson and rebellion. He is ably supported by the
Vienna Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and a stellar cast that
proves just how much flesh and blood pulses through this work.
Michael Schade, one of the most exciting lyrical tenors of today, is a
Titus who sings with fire and dignity. The dramatic soprano Dorothea
Röschmann, who made her international breakthrough in Salzburg in 1995
as Susanna ("Figaro") under Harnoncourt, portrays Vitellia as a
power-hungry schemer with a broken soul. The incomparable mezzo Vesselina
Kasarova paints her Sesto with all the passion and torment of a lover
forced to betray his best friend. On a par with them are Aleksandra Kurzak
(Servilia), Malena Ernman (Annio) and Luca Pisaroni (Publio). Premiered in
2003, this production of "Tito" was universally acclaimed as a musical
and dramatic triumph in its 2006 reprise within the Mozart 22 cycle.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: La clemenza di Tito (Mozart 22)
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Staged By: Martin Kušej
Soloist: Michael Schade, Dorothea Röschmann, Barbara Bonney, Vesselina Kasarova, Elīna Garanča, Luca Pisaroni
Set: Jens Kilian
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Chorus: Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Video Director: Brian Large
Genre: Opera
Length: 140 minutes
Cat.No.: A04001477
Gallery         Flyer