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Opera offers a dramatic finish to the season

The MSU Opera Theatre presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” (The Clemency of Titus) in four outstanding performances at Fairchild Theatre in the MSU Auditorium. The opera, written in the final year of Mozart’s life, dramatizes the story of Roman emperor Titus, who ruled from 79 to 81 CE. Performances on the MSU campus will be at 7 p.m. on March 18, March 20 and March and at 3 p.m. on March 22.

The story of Emperor Titus is one of deceit, confusion and forgiveness. A young ruler, Titus finds himself up against jealous nobility, treacherous friends and a plot to have him assassinated. He wrestles with whether he will grant clemency to the friends that betrayed him or have each one executed for their crimes.

This opera production, part of the Worthington Family Foundation Opera Season, is directed by Melanie Helton and conducted by Daniel Beckwith. Helton, soprano and professor of voice at MSU, has directed the award-winning MSU Opera Theatre for 19 years. This is Beckwith’s 5th appearance with MSU Opera Theatre, having conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, San Francisco Opera and many more worldwide. The production is sung in Italian with English surtitles and will be accompanied by the MSU Symphony Orchestra.

La Clemenza di Tito is the story of a ruler torn between the consequences of betrayal and the benefits of mercy,” Helton said. “The production is updated to current-day Rome and is particularly relevant in making the case for a leader whose decisions are led from kindness and understanding and who puts the welfare of his people first and foremost.”

Reserved seating: $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $7 for students and those under 18 with valid ID and are available from the College of Music box office — in person at the Music Building, Room 102, 333 W. Circle Drive or over the phone at (517) 353-5340 — online at or at the door one hour before the show.

Generously sponsored by James M. Miller and Rebecca H. Lehto. Also sponsored by “Dinner and a Concert” from the State Room Restaurant inside Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, where patrons can show their MSU Opera tickets on the same date of the event, before or after the performance, and receive 15% off of their meal.

Tickets and more information can be found on the event page online.

By: Michael Sundermann

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