Recordings

Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito

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.

Critical acclaim:

“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 is, of course, a superb Sesto – so musically subtle, so dramatically sensitive – …”

Telegraph

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I am *THRILLED* to let you know that “Shakuntala” - the first preview track of my new album "Into the Fire” has just been released on @AppleMusic and @Spotify. 🎧 Listen to it here: 🔗link in bio. Recorded live at the iconic Wigmore Hall, this recital with my treasured partners, the Brentano Quartet, was conceived around Jake Heggie’s song cycle "Camille Claudel: Into the Fire", a work written for me. Jake is not only a brilliant composer but he has also been a dear friend for many years. This new recording is truly one of most moving projects I’ve ever been part of and I hope will enjoy it. When Camille utters, “Thank you for remembering me” at the conclusion of this beautiful cycle, it is my hope that we not only remember her, but that we vigorously honor her genius and her vision, as well. @warner_classics . . . Photo: @chrissingerme Design: @lennysstudio #camilleclaudel #wigmorehall #brentanoquartet #joycedidonato #jakeheggie #strauss #debussy #lekeu

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🎈 I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about the upcoming release of “Songplay” on @warner_classics . It's a truly unique project that unites extraordinary musicians from the worlds of opera, jazz, and tango in the pure pleasure of improvisation, experimentation, and exchange. Together we create our own musical language, surprising listeners with timeless melodies transformed and universal stories retold over centuries; songs in English, in Italian and – naturally – in the universal language of music. I had one of the most exhilarating musical weeks of my life recording the album #Songplay with a world-class band. Trust me: you’re going to remember each one of these guys! It’s an incredible family of musicians – bass, piano, trumpet, drums and bandoneon. We have essentially created our own sound-world, fusing together music from the Baroque era and classics from the jazz world – with a few other surprises tossed in,’ explains Joyce. ‘We’ve all let down our guard (some of us have even let down our hair) and we’ve each expanded the musical traditions that we have come from to create our own style for this album. It’s joyful, it’s exuberant, it celebrates great music, and it shines a spotlight on the timeless nature of a great song. I hope you’ll want to hear this album over and over, and will grow to appreciate the value of playing with a song! #Songplay - coming to you in February 2019. Stay tuned! Photo: @chrissingerme

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So happy to be back in #Paris for tonight’s #BastilleDay Concert at the #tourdeiffel. #liberté #egalité #fraternité http://www.maisondelaradio.fr/evenement/concert-symphonique/concert-de-paris

I love beginnings. What an inspiring day, yesterday, with dear @nezetseguin, as we begin a new journey together....do, oh DO, stay tuned! #newadventure #themezzoandthemaestro #summerlovin #badenbadenbliss #anticipation

Summer lovin’, has me a bla-hast .....

Leaving Athens with the fullest of hearts, having met these extraordinary - and I do mean EXTRAORDINARY - young men in Athens. They played and sang for me and with me, along with many other beautiful young people, and they deserve every single opportunity in the world. Thank you, boys, for bringing such beauty, joy, love, and peace to me! We will meet again! @alabrasabdullah @pouya.pouya.372 @vic_palazzo2004 #skaramagascamp @elsistemagreece

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato