An old-fashioned opera even in Mozart's day, but one that pleased the aristocrats. A plot to murder Roman Emperor Tito nearly succeeds, the Capitol burns, the traitors are caught, Tito forgives all. Give Mozart a break, he needed the cash.
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Giuseppe Filianoti ...
Tito
Barbara Frittoli ...
Vitellia
Elina Garanca ...
Sesto
Lucy Crowe ...
Servilia
Kate Lindsey ...
Annio
Oren Gradus ...
Publio
Toni Rubio ...
Berenice
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Bicket ...
Himself - Conductor
Bradley Brookshire ...
Himself - Harpsichord Continuo
Susan Graham ...
Herself - Host
David Heiss ...
Himself - Cello Continuo
Anthony McGill ...
Himself - Clarinet Soloist
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
People
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
James Ognibene ...
Himself - Basset Horn Soloist
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Storyline

An old-fashioned opera even in Mozart's day, but one that pleased the aristocrats. A plot to murder Roman Emperor Tito nearly succeeds, the Capitol burns, the traitors are caught, Tito forgives all. Give Mozart a break, he needed the cash.

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Release Date:

1 December 2012 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
On the most part very impressive
4 December 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

La Clemenza Di Tito is not one of my favourite Mozart operas, but it is one of his better overall ones with an interesting story and typically gorgeous music. While the definitive production for me is the one from the 80s by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle with Carol Neblett and Tatiana Troyanos, this production from the Met is mostly very impressive. Visually, while slightly old-fashioned it looks very handsome. The decor and costumes are sumptuous, very Ponnelle. What was also impressive was the transitions between scenes, they wasted little to no time and without much noise too. The HD looks great as well, with unobtrusive camera work and clear image quality.

Musically, the production really is outstanding. Harry Bicket gives the impression of someone who has had at least some experience in early music, and it really shows. His tempos are always precise, without ever being overly-metronomical. Under him the orchestra play stylishly and with beautiful tone. The use of harpsichord really helps to give some authenticity, though some may understandably think that things may sound a little swamped in a place as huge as the Met. The clarinet and basset horn soloists are also standouts. The chorus as ever sound resplendent, while the stage direction is always compelling in any emotional impact or dramatic intensity it has.

The cast are very good on the whole. I wouldn't go as far to say that they are perfect though. Barbara Frittoli has given some performances I have very much liked, especially as Suor Angelica, but I don't think she is quite right for Vittelia. She does have a tendency to sound shrill, which does elude her wonderful musicianship(especially her pianissimos), and I do think she is more comical than she is manipulative. Giuseppe Filianoti as Tito fares better, he does have a nice pinging tenor and has some nice moments of intensity, but there are signs of strain and he does look nervous too much.

Everybody else I had no real problems with. Lucy Crowe shows real promise, her Servilia gleams both visually and vocally and she brings a poignant sweetness to the role. Kate Lindsey displays a lot of grace and vocal agility singing the role of Annio, the fact that she is also very vivacious makes it easy to see why she steals many of her scenes and wins anybody over watching her. The Publio of Oren Gradus is appropriately sturdy. But the standout was Elina Garanca's Sesto, a lusciously sung and truly authoritative performance. If the part where she lashes out at Tito doesn't genuinely grip you, I don't know what will.

All in all, very impressive, not perfect but hardly a must-avoid. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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