<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson MIRACLE FOR BOHEMIA!
Colin Davis, within days of his 75th birthday (I saw the performance
on 10 September 2002), had a pleasantly autumnal view of the work, never
more effective than when inducing cast and orchestra to the most ethereal
of pps. Bruce Ford as Titus and the Vitellia of Barbara Frittoli
had to outlast pages of forgiveness before ascending the imperial throne
together with dignity and vocal assurance. They were handsomely backed in
the convolutions of the plot by the rest of the cast, all of whom escaped
the guillotine which loomed behind. I could make little of the sets, though
admiring their simplicity.
A scene from the Dallas Opera October 1999 production of 'La Clemenza di Tito'. Photo © George Landis
The letters 'SPQR' are confined nowadays to the drain-covers of Rome.
In this joint Dallas, Minnesota, Covent Garden production these symbols
of the senate and Roman people were blazoned immense on a vast expanse of
wall, while the main street of the city was as full of holes as the Kensington
High Street of today. Why any passing Roman should bow profoundly to the
letters of his constitutional freedom rather than to some state deity, and
why the letters should be smashed to bits during the interval until they
disappeared for the most part in Act 2 was quite beyond me.
Richard Croft (left) as Tito and Frederica von Stade as Sesto in the Dallas Opera production of 'La Clemenza di Tito'. Photo © George Landis
Copyright © 13 October 2002
Robert Anderson, London, UK
THE ROYAL OPERA, COVENT GARDEN