PERFORMANCE NOTES: The Opera La Clemenza di Tito Coliseum To 8 March

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The opera written by Mozart to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II as king of Bohemia in 1791 is given an airing by the ENO. David McVicar directs Paul Nilon in the title role; Emma Bell and Sarah Connolly play the feuding Vitellia and Sesto in this story of treachery, retribution and the benefits of enlightened government.

"There is a wonderful sense of the conspiratorial; of desire breeding contempt... Paul Nilon achieves a high degree of believability and vocal accomplishment; [with] brave, meaningful pyrotechnics in his difficult final aria underlining his unshakeable compassion... An exceptionally classy evening." Edward Seckerson

"Poor Tito, sung with perfect soulful sincerity by Paul Nilon, does not know what to make of it all... his confrontation with the guilty Sesto is a wonderfully intricate moment. There is nothing spectacular about this evening, but for the beauty of the soprano voice worrying out the trickier aspects of becoming human, it cannot be beaten." The Times

"With the exception of Stephanie Marshall's shrill Annio, the singing is fabulous. Bell, thrilling from start to finish, gives the performance of a lifetime. Nilon - who, similarly, has done nothing better - is gracious, noble and moving... Despite its flaws, this is one of ENO's finest achievements in recent years. You need to hear it." The Guardian

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