Flames, Fury, Forgiveness: 5 Highlights from The Clemency of Titus

What happens when you cross a love triangle, a noblewoman hungry for power, and the city of Rome in flames? LA Opera’s first-ever production of The Clemency of Titus, that’s what. Combine that with a stellar cast of fast-rising singers, some of whom who already have long histories with the company, and you have a show that’s well-worth the wait. Take a peek at The Clemency of Titus below with the five most exciting highlights from the show.

Director Thaddeus Strassberger (left) on stage of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Director Thaddeus Strassberger (left) on stage of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Fast-Rising Tenor

Tenor Russell Thomas as Titus in The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Tenor Russell Thomas as Titus in LA Opera’s 2019 The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Tenor Russell Thomas has made quite a splash in the opera world since his LAO debut in as Pollione in 2015’s Norma. Since then, he’s sung all over the world, including Salzburg, Helsinki, Frankfurt and more. He finally returns to LA Opera in the title role of this Mozart masterpiece.

Brand Spankin’ New

A scene from LA Opera's 2019 production of "The Clemency of Titus." (Photo: Cory Weaver / LA Opera)

A scene from LA Opera’s 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus. (Photo: Cory Weaver / LA Opera)

Like we said, The Clemency of Titus is a brand-new production with fresh sets and costumes. But it’s also the first time this opera will ever be performed on the LA Opera stage. We pulled in director/designer Thaddeus Strassberger (remember him from 2017/18’s Nabucco?) to create this lavish production that took a team of over 100 staff members approximately 1,800 hours to complete.

Costumes Fit For a Princess

Guanqun Yu as Vitellia in LA Opera's production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Guanqun Yu as Vitellia in LA Opera’s 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

The set isn’t the only thing that was made from the ground up—the costumes also got the star treatment. Mattie Ullrich, who has designed costumes at pretty much all the major opera houses across the globe, designed the ornate costumes lavish enough for a princess (including a 25-foot train for soprano Guanqun Yu, who sings Vittelia). Click here for a closer look at the Titus costumes.

Past and Present Young Artists

Mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven and soprano Janai Brugger

Mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven and soprano Janai Brugger

We don’t need to tell you how fabulous our Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists are—their talent and dedication speaks for itself. For Titus, we tapped both former and current young artists to star in the production. Current YAP (opera slang for “young artist”) Taylor Raven sings Annio alongside YAP alum Janai Brugger (2010-12) as Servilia.

The Conlon Effect

Rehearsals of a recent production at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (Photo: Lawrence K. Ho)

We can’t talk about the most exciting elements of The Clemency of Titus without mentioning James Conlon, our Music Director. To date at LA Opera, Maestro Conlon has boasted 378 performances of 57 different operas by 27 composers (not including the unknown creators of The Festival Play of Daniel). And it’s not just us who think he’s great—Variety has even written that Conlon “never fails to provide a sublime reading of Mozart.”

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets to The Clemency of Titus.

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2 Responses to Flames, Fury, Forgiveness: 5 Highlights from The Clemency of Titus

  1. Leila Norris says:

    Since I first saw James Conlon work with the finalists at the Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997, I have admired his musicianship, his ability to be a true collaborator while being an inspirational leader, and his commitment to inspiring others to reach their greatest heights. His life story and how he came to music is truly inspirational. BRAVO, Maestro Conlon! May you have many more years of sharing your amazing talent with this world and with those of us who do not have the talent to achieve such heights but who DO recognize and appreciate those who do!

  2. run 3 says:

    Your article is very good, I can see your enthusiasm to enter the article, thank you for sharing with us

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