About the album

MOZART: LA CLEMENZA DI TITO

Rolando Villazón, Marina Rebeka, Joyce DiDonato, Tara Erraught, Regula Mühlemann, Adam Plachetka. Chamber Orchestra of Europe, RIAS Kammerchor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Available July 6, 2018

This is the fifth installment of a series of seven Mozart operas by Yannick Nézet-Séguin for Deutsche Grammophon, in close collaboration with the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. This recording of La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart’s opera about the benevolent Emperor Titus who forgives an assassination attempt, features Joyce DiDonato as Sesto, Rolando Villazón as Tito, Marina Rebeka as Vitellia, Tara Erraught as Annio, Regula Mühlemann as Servilia and Adam Plachetka is Publio.

Reviews

“Among the many sparkling facets of Joyce DiDonato’s artistry, her singing of Mozart repertoire perhaps does not receive the attention that her performances of Baroque, bel canto, and contemporary music justifiably garner. This is an inexplicable injustice, as her depiction of Sesto in this recording of La clemenza di Tito is a performance of the sort of psychological depth and technical confidence that only a truly great singer can muster. In the past few seasons, the mezzo-soprano has sometimes discernibly worked harder to conjure the musical magic for which she is renowned, but her Sesto is a reminder of the wisdom of singers like Kirsten Flagstad and Birgit Nilsson, mistresses of other repertoire who insisted that periodically singing Mozart rôles is a soothing balm for the voice. Sesto’s music is daunting, but Mozart was too shrewd to write vocal lines that could not be sung.

After hearing DiDonato’s singing in the Act One Andante duet with Vitellia, ‘Come ti piace, imponi,’ doubting the veracity of Flagstad’s and Nilsson’s suggestion is unfathomable. Here and in the duet with Annio, ‘Deh, prendi un dolce amplesso,’ DiDonato’s vocalism is youthful, poised, and sincere: what artifice there is exists in the music. Weaving her voice into the colorful tapestry fabricated by Romain Guyot’s wonderful playing of the aria’s clarinet obbligato [his performance of the basset-horn obbligato in Vitellia’s rondò is equally superb], she delivers an astounding account of ‘Parto, parto, ma tu, ben mio,’ the crispness of her trills matched by the fluidity of her articulation of the triplet fiorature cresting on top B♭s in the fast-paced Allegro assai. Then, as Sesto wrests with his promise to slay Tito, she summons the potency of Greek tragedy in the accompagnato ‘O Dei! che smania è questa, che tumulto ho nel cor!’ The passage beginning with ‘Deh, conservate, o Dei, a Roma il suo splendor’ in the quintet is voiced with acute understanding of Sesto’s motivations and the conflicting loyalties that torment him.”

Voix des Arts

“Joyce DiDonato’s magnificently fiery delivery of Sesto’s ‘O dei, che smania è questa!’ accompanied recitative – its every word imbued with the same authentically Classical combination of urgency and deliberative detail that characterizes the mezzo’s recently recorded Berlioz Didon – and then unfolded with an increase of dramatic tension at each accumulation of voices and plot revelations.

This Sesto strikes me as DiDonato’s finest achievement on records so far, finer still than that admirable Didon”

Opera Magazine

Album info

Release date: July 6, 2018
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Live
Label: Decca
ASIN: B07CQKKF67

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It is the thrill of a lifetime to be able to bring Didon to the stage in Berlioz's Les Troyens. Of course, it is an epic work, grand in every sense of the word; but it is the humanity and the intimacy found in this role that is nearly unbearable to me. If you’re near Vienna, I’d recommend not missing it. If you can’t see it live in the house, there will be a live stream on November 4. 🔗 in bio. Photo: Michael Pöhn / Wiener Staatsoper

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If you’re an opera lover, don’t miss this extraordinary film, “Maria by Callas”. You think you knew all there was to know about her, but this documentary will surely surprise you. As I read her letters for the film, I understood her in a way no previous biography or interview has captured. @sonypictures @mariabycallas

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Criss-crossing North America, opera lovers have been enthralled by Tom Volf’s highly-praised documentary “MARIA by CALLAS”. If you thought you knew all there was to know about this revered singer, you need to see this film. Giving voice to the heart-wrenching letters she sent to beloved friends was an incredible, humbling experience for me as I helped to tell her story in her own words. In honor of the 40th Anniversary of her passing, do see this film, and gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of the woman behind the diva. #mariabycallas #MariaCallas #NYFF @thenyff

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Well, if it’s not a “Two Widows” Reunion!!!!! @operabrandon, what a joy to share the stage with you again after tw%#*y years! And here I am again, a W2BW! (Widow To Be Wooed) Bonus points for anyone who actually attended our *historic* performances in Smetna’s underperformed opera way back in 1998 in #Chautauqua!!! #Chautauqua2Carthage #Smetna2Berlioz #HappilyEverAfter2TotalDestruction

I could not be happier or more excited that our wonderful album of Les Troyens has been named “Recording of the Year” at tonight’s Gramophone Award ceremony. Thank you to the visionary and magical music-making of John Nelson, my fabulous cast members and to @warner_classics for in believing in this project. It has been a pleasure and an extreme privilege to be a part of it. THANK YOU!!! Viva Les Troyens and viva #Berlioz.

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~ Joyce DiDonato