Directed by: Narelle Yeo
Conducted by: Simon Kenway
Piano: Zsuzsanna Gicsy
Composer: W.A. Mozart (1791)
Librettist: Caterino Mazzolà
Rome, 1st Century AD
The emperor of Rome, Tito, is in love with Berenice, the princess of Judea. Vitellia, daughter of the previous emperor, wants revenge for the death of her father and feels she is entitled the throne. She manipulates her young admirer, Sesto, who is a close friend of Tito, to assassinate him. It is revealed that because of political reasons, Tito cannot marry Berenice, but must marry a Roman woman. Vitellia becomes hopeful for a chance at the throne and asks Sesto to call off the plot.
Tito decides to marry Sesto's sister, Servilia. Vitellia once again convinces Sesto to kill Tito. Meanwhile, Servilia has approached Tito to tell him she is in love with Sesto's friend, Annio. Tito doesn't want to marry Servilia against her will and allows her to be with Annio, and instead decides to take Vitellia as his wife.
Recit and trio (Livia Brash, Barbara Jin and Chris Curcuruto)
Annio and Publio arrive to tell Vitellia that she has been selected as Tito's consort, and as the new empress, she must come with them at once. Overcome with horror, Vitellia calls for Sesto to come back, but it is too late.
Quintet and Chorus - Act I finale (Livia Brash, Bree Meara-Hendy, Barbara Jin, Claire Chehade-James and Chris Curcuto)
After some deliberation, Sesto plucks up the courage to enter the blazing city of Rome to kill Tito. Servilia, Annio and Publio watch the flames and deduct that the fire was no accident, but an act of treachery. Accompanied by the screams of the trapped citizens, Vitellia searches for Sesto. Sesto emerges whilst looking for a place to hide and announces that Tito has been murdered. He is about to reveal himself as the assassin, but Vitellia silences him.
La Clemenza di Tito was Mozart's last opera.
The original libretto by Metastasio has been set by over 40 different composers.
Domenico Guardasoni, who commissioned the work to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia, actually had Salieri as his first preference of composer. Salieri declined the offer as he was too busy, but did attend the coronation.
Mozart received almost twice the usual amount of money for this commission.
It is believed Mozart wrote the opera in 18 days.
La Clemenza di Tito was the first of Mozart's operas to reach England