This week on Iowa Public Radio's Opera in October broadcast series showcases the University of Iowa Opera Theatre's production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito on Saturday, October 26 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 27 at noon.
First premiered in 1791, this precursor of the modern soap opera details the interweaving love connections between six different characters as the Emperor Tito looks to find a wife. Vitellia, daughter of the previous emperor, plots to marry Tito to reclaim the throne. When he announces his intentions for another woman, she plots with Tito's confidant Sesto, who is obsessed with Vitellia, to murder Tito to reclaim the throne. Tito changes his mind, which suspends the murder plot briefly until he announces to marry Servilia. When Servilia announces her mutual love with Annio, a friend of Sesto and servant of Tito, Tito changes his mind once again and decides to marry Vitellia. However, the second murder plot is already in motion and it is too late for Vitellia to stop Sesto. The capital burns as Sesto announces that Tito is dead. As it were, Sesto killed the wrong man and Tito escaped alive. Tito must then decide whether to forgive Sesto and Vitellia for their plot, or to enact vengeance upon them. Laura Johnson directs Quiliano Anderson and James Judd as Tito, Sarah Fisk and Jessica Faselt as Vitellia, and Jacqueline Lang and John Elson Williams as Sesto in the University of Iowa's production of Mozart's riveting drama.