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LA CLEMENZA DI TITO 39 LA CLEMENZA DI TITO Opera in two acts. Libretto by Caterino Mazzol, after Pietro Metastasio First performed at the National Theater in Prague on September 6, 1791 CHARACTERS: Tito Vespasiano, Roman Emperor: tenor Viteilia, daughter of the Emperor Vitellins: soprano ‘Sesto, young Roman patrician, in love with Vitellia: mezzo-soprano ‘Annio, young Roman patrician, friend of Sesto, in love with Servilia: mezzo-soprano ‘Servilia, sister of Sesto: soprano Publio, Captain of the Praetorian Guard: bass Romans, Practorian Guards ‘Tho time is 79-61 AD, in Rome ‘THE PLOT act “Tho act begins in a room in Vitellia's house. She is the daughter of the deposed emperor, Vitelllus, In spite of her logitimate claim to the throne, the emperor Tito has not chosen her to be his wife, Full of vongeance she convinces Sesto, a youg Roman patrician to lead a conspiracy to kill Tito. Sesto is so bewitched and in love with her that he is preparaed to perform the deed, even though he is Tito's dearest friend and confidant. They are informed by Annio, another friend, that Tito has dismnissed his mistress Berenice and plans to marry a Roman woman, With renewed hope, Vitellia takos Sesto aside and tells him to delay carrying out her plans. After she leaves, Annio begs Sesto to help him obtain Tito's consent to marry Sosto's sister, Servilia. Sesto agrees. In the Roman Forum Sesto and Annio approach Tito. Before Sesto can interoode for Annio, Tito announces to them that he has chosen as his bride none other than Servilia, Sesto’ sister and Annio's beloved and that he plans to promote Sesto to a higher rank. Sesto begins to speak but Annio interrupts and congratulates Tito on his choice saying that he could not have chosen a bride more virtuous or beautiful or more worthy of the empire. Tito and Sesto exit. Annio is left alone until Servilia enters. Ho informs her of her royal future. They both grieve over their separation and pledge undying love for each other. Outside in the Emperor's gardens of the Imperial Palace, Publio the captain of the Praetorian Guard presonts Tito with the names of those citizens who still speak of loyalty to the former emperor. Tito fofiases to punish them. Servilia enters and tolls Tito that she is unworthy of the honor of being his wife hecause she is in love with Annio, Tito is so impressed by her telling him the truth that he grants his permission for her to marty Annio instoad. Vitellia, furious because she heard that Tito has now chosen Servilia to be his bride, orders Sesto to carry out her plan. promising to marry him if he is successful. He leaves and Annio arrives to tell Vitellfo that Tito has chosen her to be his bride and wants her to come with him, With horror, V realizos it is too late to stop Sesto. Back in the Forum Sesto agonizes over his situation. Just as he decides that he cannot betray Tito, he realizes that the Capitol is on fire and it is too late to prevent the riot. All wonder who the leader of the conspiracy could be. 40 ACT IL In the Imperial Palace, Annio informs Sesto that Tito was not killed in the riot as was feared, Sesto admits to Annio he is the betrayer. Annio urges Sesto to go to Tito and confess. Vitellia enters and begs Sesto not to divulge her guilt. Sesto gives her his word. Publio comes and arrests Sesto. In a large hall in the palace, among a crowd of oftizons, Tito and Publio await word from the senate. When Sesto is found guilty Tito refuses to sign his death warrant until he speaks to him privately and domands that Sesto be brought to him. He begs Sesto to tell him the reasons for his actions but Sesto will not betray Vitellia and instead begs Tito for death. Tito does all he can to convince Sesto to reveal hhis secret and help him find some way to excuso his betrayal but Sesto stands firm and refuses to speak. ‘With great grief Tito dismisses him. Left alone Tito ponders his problem and comes to the conclusion that he has no other choice but to sign the death warrant. After more thought, however, he decides that no matter what history will say of him in the future ho will not change his philosophy and tolls the gods that if one must have a cruel heart in order to rule then the gods must either take the empire away from him or give him a different heart. He tears up the death warrant. Vitellia is moved by Sesto's great love for hor and his faithfulness to his promise not to betray her even. ashe faces death. She decides that she cannot stand by while he takes all the blame for her conspiracy and goes to confess to Tito. Tito, along with senators and the Praetorian Guard enter the amphitheater where the condemned conspirators await their fate. THe demands that Sesto be brought to him. As he addresses Sesto ho is interrupted by the arrival of Vitellia who throws herself at his fost and confesses her guilt. Tito susprisos everyone by freeing Sesto and the other cosnpirators and absolving them from all guilt. Everyone is pardoned. All rejoice and praise the gods. Tito asks the gods to end his life if the welfare of Rome ever ‘coases to be his greatest concern,