Afternoon at the Opera

The Clemency of Titus

The Los Angeles Opera ensemble performing Mozart's The Clemency of Titus.

Los Angeles Opera

Description of Mozart's The Clemency of Titus from the Los Angeles Opera's website:

Vitellia, daughter of the late emperor Vitellius (who had been brutally executed by Titus's father), had hoped that her position in Roman court society would be cemented if Titus would take her as a bride, but he has instead chosen Berenice, a Jewish princess, to be his consort. Enraged by this rejection, she conspires with Sesto, a young nobleman with whom she is having a sexual affair, to murder him, even though Titus is one of Sesto’s dearest friends. But when Annio, another of Sesto’s friends, arrives with the sudden news that Titus has sent Berenice back to Jerusalem, Vitellia quickly tells Sesto to delay carrying out her wishes, hoping Titus will have come to his senses and choose her as his Empress. Sesto questions why he would let his sexual desire for a woman overpower his brotherly love for his friend the Emperor.