Artists L'arte del mondo Werner Ehrhardt, musical director Soloists: Rainer Trost (Tito Vespasiano) Laura Aikin (Vitellia) Raffaella Milanesi (Sesto) Arantza Ezenarro (Servilia) Valer Sabadus (Annio) Flavio Ferri-Benedetti (Publio)
L'arte del mondo presents the world premiere recording of: La Clemenza di Tito by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787). The world premiere recording of a masterpiece of the 'opera seria', perfectly timed for the 300th birthday of Gluck (July 2nd).
The opera is starring countertenor Valer Sabadus - one of opera's most exciting newcomers - now exclusively signed to Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, a division of Sony Classical. Christoph Willibald Gluck, widely known for fundamentally reforming the 'opera seria' wrote some of the greatest and exemplary masterpieces of this great genre before he started his famous reform of the opera. This makes this work a fascinating and enlightening piece in the puzzle for the evolution of opera and the eminent character Gluck. Gluck's setting of La Clemenza was first performed in Naples in 1752, ten years before his first reform opera.
‘La Clemenza di Tito’ is an exemplary 'opera seria' and a masterpiece of this genre, based on a libretto by the famous Pietro Metastasio. Metastasio’s libretti have been set to music more than any other writer, ever! For example, the libretto of ‘La Clemenza di Tito’ has been set to music 40 times. This world premiere recording by the ensemble l’arte del mondo imposingly shows the exceptional skills of one of the most influential opera composers of all time and reveals a rather unknown side of this outstanding visionary. About L'arte del mondo
The orchestra l’arte del mondo is rooted in the Early Music tradition, but also plays on modern instruments with the same passion, performing repertoire that goes up to the Romantic period. Since it was founded, the ensemble has been invited to appear at many major festivals and concert series such as the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele, the Bonn Beethoven Festival, the Schwetzingen Festival and the Sanssouci Music Festival in Potsdam. l’arte del mondo has also played at such illustrious venues as Konzerthaus Berlin, the Cité de la musique in Paris, the Düsseldorf Tonhalle, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Munich's Herkulessaal. Synopsis
Rome, 79 A.D - The new emperor Titus has ascended the throne. He has been involved with the Judean princess Berenike, but ends the relationship for reasons of state, and against his personal inclination. Vitellia, the daughter of an overthrown former emperor, sees herself as the rightful bride of the new emperor Titus and feels discriminated against in favour of Berenike, and she starts to instigate a rebellion against Titus with one of the new ruler's friends, Sextus, her devoted admirer. Sextus’s sister Servilia in turn loves a certain Annius, who loves her in return: an altogether favourable state of affairs, were it not for the fact that Titus has now decided to woo Servilia in Berenike's place. Sextus is startled by the news, but Annius is willing to abandon his love out of loyalty to Titus. But Servilia makes no move to change her fiancé so quickly, and affirms her loyalty to Annius. She then confesses to Titus that she is in love with Annius. Impressed by this step, the emperor withdraws his proposal of marriage and praises Servilia's honesty.
Later Vitellia learns that she has been selected as the new empress. Vitellia is surprised and delighted by the news, but unfortunately Sextus has already stabbed the emperor to death with his own hands. Later on it turns out that Titus is still alive, and that Sextus apparently killed someone who looked like the emperor. Sextus and Annius swap cloaks in order to cover up Sextus’s guilt. Titus then learns of the uprising. Because Annius is wearing a cloak with the emblem of the conspirators on it the others take him for the ringleader. But a little while later it becomes clear to the prefect Publius that it's Sextus who was behind the plot.
Titus is reluctant to sign the death warrant and interrogates Sextus himself. But in order to protect the true ringleader, Vitellia, Sextus says nothing in his own defence, so that he must now prepare to die. Titus is at odds with his fate as ruler, and decides, contrary to all political wisdom, to display clemency. Meanwhile Vitellia overcomes her misgivings and decides to reveal herself to Titus. The emperor is about to publicly pardon Sextus when Vitellia confesses her crimes. To everyone's amazement, the surprised Titus forgives all the conspirators. He admits that he can no longer marry Vitellia under the circumstances, but decides that she shall wed Sextus instead. As nothing more stands in the way of Sevilia and Annius getting married, a double wedding ceremony is announced. But the good-hearted Emperor Titus declares that he intends to remain single.