Preloader Operavision
Monika Kolstad
29.05.2021 at 19h00 CET
Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 19:00

Bergen National Opera

La clemenza di Tito

Passions are burning and Rome is ablaze

Operas | Mozart

When his friend, blinded by love, is driven to an act of terrorism, the emperor has to learn the personal cost of political power.


Dealing with the appalling jealousies, ambitions and love affairs during the reign of the emperor, La clemenza di Tito has eerie parallels with our own era in Bergen National Opera's new production. With its excellent young all-Norwegian cast, Mozart's last opera asks the deeply relevant question: who is the leader we want in times of crisis?

Recorded on 15 March 2021.


Sung in Italian. Subtitles are available in English, Italian and Norwegian with the option of auto-translation into over 100 other languages.

Available from
29.05.2021 at 19h00 CET

Available until
29.11.2021 at 12h00 CET

TitoBror Magnus Tødenes
VitelliaBeate Mordal
ServiliaFrøy Hovland Holtbakk
SestoAdrian Angelico
AnnioIngeborg Gillebo
PublioChristian Valle
ChorusEdvard Grieg Kor & Singers from The Grieg Academy
OrchestraBergen Philharmonic Orchestra

MusicWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
TextCaterino Mazzolà, based on Pietro Metastasio
ConductorEdward Gardner
DirectorRodula Gaitanou
Costume DesignerCordelia Chisholm
Lighting DesignerSimon Corder, Ivar Skjørestad
Chorus MasterHåkon Matti Skrede
Artistic DirectionMary Miller
Assistant DirectorSigmund Njøs Hovind
Assistant ConductorAage Richard Meyer

Act I

Vitellia, daughter of the previous Roman emperor, wants to regain her place on the throne by marrying Tito, the present emperor. But her hopes are broken when she finds out that Tito has chosen the Judean princess Berenice as his bride. Vitellia persuades Tito’s closest friend Sesto, who is in love with her, to assassinate the emperor. When she hears that Tito has renounced Berenice for reasons of state, her hopes are revived and she calls off the assassination plot.

Tito now intends to marry Sesto’s sister Servilia, and sends Sesto’s friend Annio to inform her. Annio and Servilia, unbeknownst to Tito, are in love, so they are crushed by this news. Servilia is prepared to obey her emperor, but she decides to tell him the truth. Tito thanks her for her honesty and says he will not marry her against her wishes.

When Vitellia learns of Tito’s plan to marry Servilia, she once again urges Sesto to assassinate the emperor. Just after Sesto leaves to carry out her wish, Annio and the guard Publio arrive to escort Vitellia to Tito, who has now chosen her as his wife. Vitellia desperately tries to stop Sesto but realizes it is too late.

Although still hesitant, Sesto and his accomplices set fire to the Capitol, intending to trap Tito inside. When Sesto is about to confess his crime, Vitellia begs him not to divulge anything. All of Rome laments the tragic events.

Act II

Annio tells Sesto that the emperor is still alive. When Sesto confesses his murder attempt but refuses to give any reason, Annio counsels him to admit everything to Tito and rely upon his mercy. Vitellia urges Sesto to flee, but she is too late: a fellow conspirator has betrayed him, and Publio enters to arrest him. Sesto asks Vitellia to remember his love.

The Roman people are thankful that the emperor has survived. Tito struggles to comprehend the conspirators’ motives and doubts that Sesto would betray him, but is told that Sesto has admitted his guilt before the Senate. Annio implores Tito to treat Sesto with compassion. The emperor refuses to sign the death decree until Sesto has had a chance to explain himself.  Sesto assures him that he did not want the throne for himself, but he hesitates to implicate Vitellia. Tito reluctantly condemns Sesto to death. Left alone, the emperor is torn between his duty and his feelings, concluding that he can reign only if his power is rooted in love. Annio and Servilia beg Vitellia to help save Sesto. Vitellia realises that she must confess her crime as Sesto’s life is too high a price to pay for her place on the throne.

Tito is about to pronounce Sesto’s sentence when Vitellia appears and confesses her guilt. Tito tells Vitellia that he had intended to pardon Sesto anyway/ Mastering his emotions, Tito extends the pardon to all the conspirators, to high praise from the Roman people.