Address: Philippe Auguin Distribution: Paolo Fanale, Stéphanie D’Oustrac, Myrtò Papatanasiu, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Lidia Vinyes-Curtis, Matthieu Lécroart. Grand Theater of the Lyceum. 19 –II-2020
The 20th anniversary season of the reconstruction of the Gran Teatre del Liceo has been presenting titles of the great repertoire along with other less popular ones, as is the case with this Mozart of maturity of the serious repertoire. “La clemenza di Tito” has been gaining prestige as the figure of the Austrian composer has become one of the great references of the repertoire of classical and lyrical music. The proposal of the Lyceum had a classic production premiered at the Aix-en-Provence Festival (2011) directed by David McVicar that he did not quite convince. A monumental scenery with a large facade that occupies the background of the stage and a series of walls and structures that overlap quite effectively formed the scenic space.
The costumes explained that the plot had moved to the time of the Napoleonic Empire, and the direction of actors was based on an adequate interaction between the different couples in love and their intrigues in relation to Emperor Tito, in this case very well protected by a praetorian guard of agile figurants somewhat idealized in his wardrobe, with moments especially achieved as if they were part of a martial ballet of Orientalist type somewhat out of place but well worked.
But for this title to be a true success, a solvent musical direction is required, as happened on this occasion at the Lyceum when it had the French director Philippe Auguin, who maintained the theatrical tension and beauty of this excellent score from beginning to finally taking care of all the details and the conjunction of the cast in the various duos and set numbers. The French mezzo-soprano baroque opera specialist Stéphanie D’Oustrac composed an outstanding Sesto, with an elegant and musical voice, correctly projected, who knew how to give credibility to the character of the lover and the traitorous friend. She was very applauded in her arias, and It included the famous “Childbirth, childbirth, ma tu ben mio”.
Next to it was the interesting Vitellia of the Greek soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu, who showed character and ductility in her tormented character who lacked agility and whose acute record did not always have a homogeneous emission. The Belgian soprano Anne-Catherine Gillet showed a wide and timbred voice of great excellence excelling as Servilia despite a marked vibrato and was also received with great applause. Tito Vespasiano by Paolo Fanale shone with an attractive timbre, musicality and elegance in singing, with a sharp register a weak point to round off the difficult role of the emperor clement. Very interesting and delivered the Annio of the Mexican mezzo-soprano Lidia Vinyes-Curtis and correct the Publio of the French baritone Matthieu Lécroart in his debut at the Lyceum. Outstanding performance of the symphony Liceísta – especially the exquisite clarinetist – and the Choir of the Lyceum in a title received with interest by the public.