The Guardian festival blog: La Clemenza di Tito review – a magical, maddening return to Glyndebourne | Music


The Roman Empire becomes a soulless modern bureaucracy in Claus Guth’s new production of La Clemenza di Tito, the first time Mozart’s last opera has been seen at Glyndebourne since 1999. It is a curiously divided piece of music-theatre, insightful and intransigent, maddening and admirable in equal measure.

Guth begins with a film, faultily projected on opening night but clear enough to enable us to see Tito and Sesto playing together as boys in an Edenic natural landscape. Their friendship and this earthly paradise, however, are already under threat from Sesto’s unthinking propensity to violence and Tito’s innate disgust at it. When we encounter the pair as adults, we find their relationship further corrupted by the demands of sex and politics. Their Eden has become a decaying wilderness, dominated by a hideous office block, where Richard Croft’s Tito fends off the endless demands of sycophantic civil servants. Down…



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(image courtesy of http://www.rosestallard.com/)

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