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La clemenza di Tito scene

La clemenza di Tito 2002

July 13 - August 14, 2002

A king’s wisdom and mercy…

…are put to the supreme test with an attempted assassination.

Music By
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto By
Pietro Metastasio
Libretto Adapted By
Caterino Mazzolà


Act I

Vitellia, angered by Tito’s decision to marry Berenice, her rival, has launched a conspiracy to have him murdered. Sesto, torn between love for Vitellia and duty towards his friend Tito, is convinced to kill the Emperor. Annio announces that Tito has changed his mind, sending Berenice away. Vitellia postpones the murder but urges Sesto to be resolute.

Assembled in the Forum, the Roman senators and citizens praise Tito’s wisdom and justice. Tito orders that the golden tributes offered to him be used instead to aid the victims suffering from a recent eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Tito decides to marry Servilia, but she refuses, citing her love for Annius. Tito praises her honesty.

Vitellia, believing that Servilia will accept Tito’s offer, orders Sesto to burn the Capitol and murder the Emperor. Sesto agrees. Annio and Publio inform Vitellia that Tito has decided to marry her. Horrified, Vitellia realizes that she cannot stop the murder; Annio and Publio interpret her confusion as a sign of her love for Tito.

As the Capitol burns, Sesto returns to confess Tito’s murder, but Vitellia orders him to be silent; they join in the chorus of lament.

Act II

Sesto learns from Annio that he attacked someone other than Tito. Publio arrests Sesto, and Vitellia worries that her role in the plot will be discovered.

The Senate finds Sesto guilty and orders his execution; before signing the warrant, Tito orders Sesto to appear before him. Sesto confesses his treachery but does not betray Vitellia. He leaves, ready to be executed but regretting his role in the conspiracy. Angered by this betrayal, Tito signs the death warrant. On further reflection, he realizes that mercy would be a wiser choice and vows to announce his decision.

Unaware of her role in the murder plot, Tito reiterates his decision to marry Vitellia. She is moved by the realization that Sesto did not betray her and resolves to confess her guilt to Tito.

As the public assembles in the amphitheater to see the sentence carried out, Tito is about to announce his decision when Vitellia confesses. He is at first shocked but decides to order a pardon for Vitellia. He proclaims that the good of Rome is his foremost consideration and is hailed by the citizens.


Richard Croft headshot

Richard Croft



Alex Penda headshot

Alex Penda



Kristine Jepson headshot

Kristine Jepson



Joyce DiDonato headshot

Joyce DiDonato



Stephen Morscheck headshot

Stephen Morscheck



Isabel Bayrakdarian headshot

Isabel Bayrakdarian



Kenneth Montgomery headshot

Kenneth Montgomery


Chas Rader-Shieber headshot

Chas Rader-Shieber


David Zinn headshot

David Zinn

Scenic & Costume Designer

Rick Fisher headshot

Rick Fisher

Lighting Designer

Robert Wood headshot

Robert Wood

Chorus Master