W. A. Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito by John A. Rice
This is the first book to be devoted to Mozart's opera, La clemenza di Tito. Rice considers the opera from a variety of historical and critical viewpoints. Tito is a political opera. The author examines its origins in the politically unstable Habsburg Empire of 1791, interpreting it as a response to revolutionary threats both inside and outside the empire. Tito is also a literary opera: much of its dramatic power lies in its libretto. Rice analyses Metastasio's libretto and the revised version that Mozart set. The volume explores aspects of Mozart's compositional process, the premiere in Prague, and subsequent critical reception through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In a concluding chapter, Rice reviews recent performances as well as scholarly research that sheds light on the interpretation of the opera. The volume, which contains illustrations of recent productions, a discography, and a bibliography, will be of interest to students, scholars and opera-goers.