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Opera Provides a Dramatic Finish to the Season

Cast performing in an opera.

The MSU Opera Theatre presented Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” (The Clemency of Titus) in four outstanding performances at Fairchild Theatre in the MSU Auditorium March 18 to 20, 2020. The opera, written in the final year of Mozart’s life, dramatizes the story of Roman emperor Titus, who ruled from 79 to 81 CE.

The story of Emperor Titus is one of deceit, confusion and forgiveness. A young ruler, Titus finds himself up against jealous nobility, treacherous friends and a plot to have him assassinated. He wrestles with whether he will grant clemency to the friends that betrayed him or have each one executed for their crimes.

This opera production, part of the Worthington Family Foundation Opera Season, was directed by Melanie Helton and conducted by Daniel Beckwith. Helton, soprano and professor of voice at MSU, has directed the award-winning MSU Opera Theatre for 19 years. This was Beckwith’s 5th appearance with MSU Opera Theatre, having conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, San Francisco Opera and many more worldwide. The production is sung in Italian with English surtitles and will be accompanied by the MSU Symphony Orchestra.

“La Clemenza di Tito is the story of a ruler torn between the consequences of betrayal and the benefits of mercy,” Helton said. “The production is updated to current-day Rome and is particularly relevant in making the case for a leader whose decisions are led from kindness and understanding and who puts the welfare of his people first and foremost.”

Michael Sundermann & Beth Brauer via MSU Today.

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