Published: 06th September 2021
#ThrowbackToday: Mozart's last opera premiered 230 years ago today
In today's #TBT, we talk about the Italian opera La Clemenza di Tito, termed as Mozart's last piece. And why, it wasn't quite up there as per several viewers and critics back then
Roman emperor Titus foils his own assassination plot which was planned by none other than (gasp!) his fiancée and close friend. What's more? He even forgives the backstabbing duo in what is seen as a grand act of forgiveness.
This was the plot of what was to be the final opera of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart titled La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus). This 18th-century Italian opera seria (a more serious type of opera) was composed for Leopold II and Maria Luisa who were being deemed as king of Bohemia and the new queen respectively. It received its grand premiere on September 6, 1791, at the Estates Theatre in Prague, but much to the disappointment of many, it did not quite live up to the hype. The queen apparently said that it was "nothing special" and called the music "very bad", so much so that it put many to sleep. It hasn't fared well with the critics, but recently, is being appreciated more and continues to be a noteworthy one.
Was the response due to the fact that it came right at the heels of Mozart's big three operas or was it taken up by Mozart just because of the prestige of the occasion are some of the questions that have been raised throughout the years.