Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito

LA Opera | October 2, 2021, 12:00 pm

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Russell Thomas as Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver)

Rome in the first century A.D. is the most powerful civilization in the world. And yet even this greatest of capitals falls vulnerable to power players seeking glory. In a plight to keep his crown and save the city he loves, Emperor Titus is faced with the ultimate choice between mercy or murder.

This production by Thaddeus Strassberger marked the company premiere of a masterpiece composed nearly simultaneously with The Magic Flute in the last months of Mozart’s short life. Strassberger’s scenic design was inspired by 19th-century Romantic-era paintings set in Rome’s Temple of Jupiter, the Roman baths, and Titus’ throne room. The production featured lavish costumes, including a gown worn by Vitellia which sported a 25-foot train, and lighting and projections that replicated the burning of Rome. With James Conlon on the podium, the production starred tenor Russell Thomas as Emperor Titus.