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Mozart - La Clemenza di Tito (Opernhaus Zurich 2005)

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonas Kaufmann, Vesselina Kasarova, Eva Mei, and Malin Hartelius star in this 2005 Zurich Opera production of the Mozart opera conducted by Franz Welser-Moest.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jonas Kaufmann, Vesselina Kasarova, Malin Hartelius, Eva Mei, Liliana Nikiteanu
  • Directors: Jonathan Miller, Felix Breisach
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Classics
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000J20W7A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,218 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

So many great things and so many not so great things in this DVD. La clemenza di Tito is one of my favorite operas because of the musical part of it. And the music is mostly wonderful here.

They had scratched the dry sung speech in favor of spoken Italian dialogue. So this is turned into an Italian 'Singspiel'. Might work better if more than 1 principals speak the language well, but as it turns out they don't... and the lone native Italian, Eva Mei, doesn't capitalize on her command of the language either.

Staging is very dark... semi modern with a single set featuring a turning tall cylinder with a staircase wrapping around it. I thought I was in for an Italian mobsters kind of show until Tito and his Romans appear looking like Mussolini and his collaborators. It's a typical Jonathan Miller staging with mostly 'static and pose' kind of choreography. Seems a bit under-rehearsed to me. And I don't really care for the 'assassination and burning of Rome' sequence that ends Act I in this production... There is no commotion anywhere, all you have is Sesto standing there singing of the commotion (the chorus stays off the stage). The whole sequence is saved only because they have a truly commanding Sesto on-stage who can convince you that the terror and tumult in the music is 'right' and the lack of any action on stage is to be ignored.

Vesselina Kasarova is in wonderful voice as Sesto and a commanding presence on stage despite of her not very large size and dark suit (blends right into the dark set at times). Some of her ornamentation fit piano playing more than singing, I think, but they aren't distracting. I wish there is more chemistry between her and Eva Mei, who is miscast as Vitellia.
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This is an effective staging, though the set looks medieval and the costumes are modern. It's well paced, well played, well sung. Jonas Kaufmann is an ideal Tito. His voice is not only beautiful and flexible, it's also ample, retaining warmth and sweetness when he sings out. The character of Tito is too good to be true, but Kaufmann makes him intense, noble, and beliveable. Vesselina Kasarova is riviting as Sesto. Her voice is gorgeous and multi-colored, her technique exquisite, her immersion in the role complete. If you think great singing-acting expired with Callas, this DVD will change your mind. Liliana Nikiteanu as Annio, Malin Hertelius as Servilia, and Gunther Groissbock as Publio, have luscious voices and dramatic talent. Nikiteanu is particularly touching. The only disappointment here is Eva Mei as Vitellia. Her slightly tart soprano suits the character's vengeful moods, but her lack of tonal warmth deprives her great aria of pathos.
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This is a wonderful production. I have never heard or seen this opera before and am delighted. The music is lovely and the spoken parts are well done. Jonas Kaufmann's Tito is vocally and dramatically both riveting and touching. The heroic tenor sound of his voice is ideal for Tito. Vesselina Kasarova is the other standout here with her gorgeous creamy sound and sensitive portrayal of Sesto torn with remorse. Gunter Groissbock as Publio who although his part is small, has a great baritone sound. The Zurich Opera chorus provides a fine performance and the excellent Franz Welser-Most conducts the Zurich Opera Orchestra. I was impressed immediately with the very good sound, not at all boxy as in some live recordings. The sound is so clear and the camera work so good I found myself for once just engrossed in the action. The production is visually interesting and beautiful with a simple and effective set. The focus is on the players and the dramatic action as it should be and it all works. A great DVD which I will watch and enjoy many times over.
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We have some very fair and accurate reviews on this work already.
I would just supplement my viewpoints on a couple of aspects.
Firstly, the set and costumes are far from OK.
The stage was too dark most of the time, and the costumes do not reflect adequately the status of the characters.
Secondly, all secco recitatives were being cut out and replaced by Italian dialogue. This proved problematic to most, if not all, singers performing. For instance, Tito's first aria began as a spoken dialogue, and Jonas Kaufmann really had some problem launching into the music. The characters generally are not at home with the archaic Italian and could not give full expressiveness to the words most of the time. This problem was added on by the fact that most of the cast aren't Italians.
Thirdly, the orchestra, while well-conducted, was a bit too loud in some of the major arias.
Most of the singers however did a splendid job - Kassarova being the vocal star. Eva Mei had certain vocal problems in Act 1, but progressed quite well in later Acts. The final great aria 'Non piu di fiori vage catene', though not done to the level of Alexandrina Pendatchanska in Jacob's version (and who could surpass that one, any way?), was very dramatically rendered. The title role of Tito was adequately performed by Kaufmann, but by no means should this be counted as his performance in top form: first of all, his spoken Italian sounds nasal and funny, almost to the point of being hilarious (listen to his 'Servillia' as Tito addressed his would-be fiance for the first time). Secondly, his voice has grown too large for a coloratura role as Tito, and he had to perform at the rare end of the stage most of the time to 'compensate' for his large volume. Otherwise he did sound both heroic and benevolent, both vital cornerstones for the role. He would have been benefitted more if the recitatives were there instead of spoken dialogues.
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