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.
“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”
Joyce DiDonato is, of course, a superb Sesto - so musically subtle, so dramatically sensitive - ...
Release date: July 6, 2018 Number of Discs: 1 Format: Live Label: Decca ASIN: B07CQKKF67
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And just like *that* - right into the middle of a technicolor world!! Elated to be in #Bogotá for the first time and ready to launch our final tour of #InWarAndPeace throughout South & North America starting at the @teatromayor On Wednesday. Stay tuned...this is going to be deeply special!
“Grazie, London.” Thanks for the wicked, wonderful memories!!! #Agrippina
What an indescribable joy it has been to bring the many faces of #Agrippina to life here at the @royaloperahouse with such an extraordinary cast, crew, and team-at-large for such fantastic audiences! I’ve been well aware from the first day that this was an instance of “as good as it gets”. Luckily, I get to spend a lot of time with this powerhouse this season ... so while it’s “goodbye” for now, I shall return to the quest for the throne shortly! 😎
PS As if we needed reminding: #absolutepowercorruptsabsolutely
Photo: Bill Cooper / ROH
So. Many. Thoughts! Like how hard it is to think that we only have 2 shows left in this incredibly special run of #RohAgrippina! How time flies when you’re grasping for all that power!
Photo: Bill Cooper / ROH
Wishing each of you a beautiful, restorative Sunday . . . ❤️
I’m elated to bring to you my most treasured vocal tracks. These are the things I turn to when I’m looking for more beauty in my life. Listen to my hand-picked pieces from across the ages that showcase the full expressive power of the human voice on @applemusic. Enjoy!! 🔗 Link in bio.
Having the time of my life at the @royaloperahouse with this timely monster of a role. Still boggles my mind how fortunate I am to take such wild journeys on the stage!
Photo: Bill Cooper / ROH
What a gift to sing Handel’s #Agrippina for the @royaloperahouse and you gorgeous #London Public!! I’m already sad to think we only have 4 more performances left! #catchusifyoucan #absolutepowercorruptsabsolutely
Thank you, Marcin, for this lovely souvenir of the curtain call 😎
After the intensive and wonderful journey to get #Agrippina up on her feet, full of her manipulative and cruel machinations, what a joy to return to #nature in all Her restorative, healing, “real world” glory. Aaaaahhhhhhh......