Such is the appetite for Mozart's operas today, it is hard to believe this opera, written late in the composer's career, was his first to be performed in London. And after that 1806 British premiere at Her Majesty's Theatre, it languished until a revival at the St Pancras Festival in 1957.
Written in 1791 and staged only weeks before the composer's death, even its La Scala, Milan premiere had to wait until 1818. La Clemenza di Tito has had, in other words, a stately progress through musical history rather that a glittering career.
A new staging for Covent Garden, with details yet to be announced, will suit today's cautious mood. While the troubled love stories of Vitellia and Sesto, and of Annio and Servilia are central, important theme is the charity of the Roman emperor Tito, sung by a tenor, who forgives those who plot against him.
Those plotters include Vitellia, a soprano, and Sesto, originally a castrato role, today sung by a mezzo-soprano or counter-tenor. Expect starry casting: the Royal Opera can take its pick of outstanding singers after a tricky year. More details follow soon.
La Clemenza di Tito is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Publick booking opens Fri 7 May at 10AM
|What||La Clemenza di Tito, Royal Opera House live|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
On 17 May 21, First in a run of performances: dates, running time and casts to be announced
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|