Friday, February 6, 2015

La Clemenza di Tito @ L'Opera National du Rhin

Another Clemenza di Tito?  YAY!  It looks like an interesting production, in which I am certain "...dans lequel on ne s'ennuie pas une seconde…" Of course, no opera lover I know could ever be bored with any performance of Clemenza. There's always something to see or listen to! 

Stéphanie d'Oustrac' Sesto  should be pretty amazing; and this blogger is a big David 
Bižić fan. Two things I particularly love about the second video below: (1) Publio trying to fingerprint Sesto during the "Vieni!" trio; (2) the harpsichord tuning in the background of one interview. It says, "Hey folks, we are in the Opera House!" 

I'm glad francetv is publicizing this production. D'ya think they'll broadcast it? 
One can only hope that someone will. 

Tito Benjamin Bruns 
Vitellia Jacquelyn Wagner 
Sesto Stéphanie d'Oustrac 
Servilia Chiara Skerath 
Annio Anna Radziejewska
Publio David Bižić

Chœurs de l'Opéra National du Rhin
Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse 

Direction musicale Andreas Spering 
Mise en scène Katharina Thoma 
Décors Julia Müer 
Costumes Irina Bartels 
Lumières Olaf Winter


  1. Sd'O looks like she'd make a great stage samurai! Actually, samurai Sesto sounds about right. I really liked Kat Thoma's Ariadne production but everybody seems to have hated her Ballo, so this could be interesting or shit ;-) but it does look like it rather works. Also, physically larger Vitelliae paired with slim Sesti make a strong praying mantis point. If they don't broadcast it, let's hope someone goes through the trouble of recording it...

    I like the point the advert makes in the end - loyalty, but to whom or to what? indeed so. I think ultimately Sesto is loyal to himself, to what he feels. Anyway, don't let me go on and on... But still: "La clemence de Titus remains one of the most beautiful musical tributes to the complexity of the human spirit". Which is precisely why we love it ;-)

    1. Personally I am a bit tired of the big hulking (tall or otherwise) Vitellia and slight diminutive Sesto. Although it does make an intersting plot point. Actually come to think of it, a smaller more boyish Sesto makes sense if you go the Titos "special friend" route, too.

      Fingers crossed on recording or broadcast or canny combination of both.

    2. I think theatres around the world programming Tito productions should get their act together and hire us for fresh ideas ;-) I think more grown-up Sesti paired with apparently delicate Vitelliae are a good idea (like in the Aix production, McVicar was onto something, pity it didn't quite work).

    3. I had an interesting twitter exchange with Anna Bonitatibus about the possibilities of having more than one mezzo play Cherubino. (I love the interwebz!) It started me tweeting my random thought about seeing Christian Gerhaher and Matthias Goerne as Count and Figaro together in Nozze.. possibly in the Guth or a similar production (they are both so good at being angsty).

      Michelle (PauaGirl) and I were tweeting out our fantasy cast and Anna came up, along with Rinat Shaham as a possible alternative. That's when Anna popped in and suggested the double-casting.

      All of that's to say, yes, they need us, a small group of loyal fanatical Titites to submit new ideas. Hey,Joyce DiDonato crowd-sourced her "best-of" album. Maybe we can get her (or another tech-savvy diva) to get on board.

      I may have said this before, but I think just once I'd like to see a "confused hurt little girl" version of Vitellia. Not a mean, vengeful, scheming bitch, but woman who genuinely doesn't get why Tito ignores her. Come to think of it, that could make the rest of the plot implausible and/or make the production boring...

      Parenthetically, I'd like to see Anna B. and Rinat S. in a Dorabella-off!

    4. So how does this double casting actually work? What does each singer do?

      (Titites, I like that, though I first read it as Tities...)

      I think the "hurt little girl Vitellia" could work. Hurt little girls in love sometimes turn to "worshiping young men" who want to save damsels in distress. Maybe it's more how many singers who look like that can also sing Vitellia...

  2. I love d'Oustrac but I've never imagined her with a moustache!

    1. Go figure! I do appreciate at least a little hint of facial hair in my travesti (Cherubino and possibly a few juvenile roles aside...though come to think of it, Cherubino is old enough to... oh well. ahem. )

      I prefer my Sesto, Idamente, and some of Rossini's "men" to look more grown up.

      There was one Clemenza where I got a distinctly punk lesbian vibe from Sesto (Vienna?). That could be another interesting interpretive angle, but I don't think that's where the director was heading...or was it?

    2. Yes, the Theater-an-der-Wien Sesto from last year looked like a baby butch! Too cute. I think maybe a more knowing/anything-goes Vitellia is the ideal pair for that kind of thing - Gauvin's (or the Neblett's vintage one) for instance. The way I remember it Tito and Sesto looked convincing together in a way that might just stretch gender a bit more.

    3. I remember some sensual interplay in the interrogation scene, that made it clear (to me) there was something between them, but I wasn't sure (and maybe it doesn't matter) what the gender relationship was. I think Andrew Owens is a convincingly earnest Tito. But a lesbian about thinking outside the box!!

      (just to add confusion, I just made a new comment on your review of that production)


Comments are very welcome! They won't be moderated; but rude, abusive, and/or radically off-topic posts will be removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...