A New Take on Mozart's Last Opera

Sunday night at 9 on WCRB's Voices, three of today's most dynamic artists - mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, tenor Rolando Villazón, and conductor Yannick Nezét-Séguin - join forces in a new recording of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito.

Sunday, June 30, 2019
9:00 PM

MOZART La Clemenza di Tito

Rolando Villazón (Tito)
Joyce DiDonato (Sesto)
Marina Rebeka (Vitellia)
Regula Mühlemann (Servilia)
Tara Erraught (Annio)
Adam Plachetka (Publio)

Chamber Orchestra of Europe
RIAS Chamber Choir
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

ALSO ON THE PROGRAM

The Rose Ensemble
Two anonymous Maltese pastoral mass settings
Album: Treasures from Baroque Malta / The Rose Ensemble

Elizabeth Hungerford, soprano & Andrew Arceci, viola da gama
Giulo Caccini - Amarilli mia bella
Henry Purcell - I attempt from Love's sickness
Tarquinio Merula - Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna

Album: Love & Lust / Elizabeth Hungerford & Andrew Arceci

 

I never quite know whether catagorizing Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito as his "last" opera is correct. To be sure, it was the last opera he started composing. But, he also finished it very swiftly (some say in just 18 days!), and then returned to finish Die Zauberflöte, making that opera the final opera Mozart finished. So which is it?

I don't really know, and to be honest, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that because it's the last - or second to last - opera, it belongs to that celebrated handful of final works by Mozart. And as such it offers us a heartbreaking musical window into the final year of one of the great losses in music history. La Clemenza di Tito contains some of Mozart's most heartfelt and tender composing, and in listening to it, we hear and feel one of the great artists of all time at his absolute best. And that, more than whether it's last or not, is what ultimately is important.

This week on Voices, we'll hear the new 2018 recording of La Clemenza di Tito from conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and tenor Rolando Villazón, with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and soprano Marina Rebeka.  This group has been recording a cycle of Mozart operas together for a number of years, and they finish the project with this spectacular performance of Mozart's last opera... or is it second to last?

Chris Voss

Read an Italian-to-English translation of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito.

Read the Metropolitan Opera's synopsis of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. 

Watch the trailer for the album