Nordic Network For Early Opera

invites to CONFERENCE

La Clemenza di Tito and Mozartian Aesthetics

AUGUST 24-26, 2013

Kungliga Myntkabinettet
Slottsbacken 6, Gamla Stan

Arranged by Nordic Network for Early Opera - in collaboration with Stockholm University and Drottningholms Slottsteater within the context of the research project “Performing Premodernity - Exploring Cultural Heritage through the Drottningholm Court Theatre”


The conference, which uses Sigrid T’Hooft’s new production of Mozart’s opera La clemenza di Tito at Drottningholm Palace Theatre as its focal point, aims to create a dialogue between three different fields that rarely interact, but which we hope will inspire each other: the history of aesthetics, the historically contextualized interpretation of operatic works, and reflection on the historically informed performance of these works.

Each of the three days of the conference is dedicated to one of these viewpoints while ample space is left for panel discussions that involve all the specialists. The participants will also attend the performance of Mozart’s two last operas, Die Zauberflöte and La clemenza di Tito, at Drottningholm.

The first day is dedicated to studies of La clemenza di Tito from the perspective of historical musicology. Durante and Rice, some of the world’s most respected specialists in this opera, will speak of the opera in the context of its original production, in Prague in 1791. The music historian Langdalen will speak of Mozart’s contribution to the history of musical aesthetics.

On the second day rhetorician and musicologist Hansen will discuss epideictic rhetoric as a theoretical approach to eighteenth-century opera; literary scholar Baker will speak about the notion of 'pity' in the eighteenth century, specifically as treated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau; and the theatre researcher Schneider will speak about the treatment of pity and compassion in the 1791 revision of Metastasio's earlier libretto..

The third day is dedicated to issues of performing operas, and especially La clemenza di Tito, at Drottningholm Palace Theatre from 1766, the world’s best-preserved eighteenth-century theatre. Tatlow and T’Hooft, the conductor and the director of the production, respectively, will speak about artistic challenges and discoveries related to their work, while the theatre historians Sauter and Wiles will speak about general issues of performing operas in the historical space of Drottningholm, from a phenomenological perspective.


24 August: La clemenza di Tito in the historical context of 1791
Moderator: Mark Tatlow
10.00: Welcome by Mark Tatlow and Magnus Tessing Schneider
10.15-11.15: John A. Rice (us): “The operatic culture of the court of Leopold II”
11.30-12.30: Sergio Durante (it): “Problems of production: theatrical space, consequences for the direction, and connected aesthetic issues”
12.30-14.00: Lunch
14.00-15.00: Jørgen Langdalen (no): “Musikkestetiske betraktninger”
15.15-16.30: Roundtable discussion
18.30: Dinner @ Drottningholm
19.30: La clemenza di Tito @ Drottningholm

25 August: 1791 in the history of aesthetics
Moderator: Magnus Tessing Schneider
10.00-11.00: Jette Barnholdt Hansen (dk): “Mozart and epideictic rhetoric”
Coffee break
11.30-12.30: Felicity Baker (uk): "The character of Tito: pity as political action"
12.30-14.00: Lunch
14.00-15.00: Magnus Tessing Schneider (se/dk): “Mazzolà's Revision of the Clemenza Libretto and the Dramaturgy of Pity"
15.30-17.30: Roundtable discussion
19.00: Dinner @ Old Town

26 August: Performing Clemenza at Drottningholm
Moderator: Jette Barnholdt Hansen/Jed Wentz
10.00-11.00: Mark Tatlow (se/uk): “The performance of secco recitatives in La clemenza di Tito”
11.30-12.30: Sigrid T’Hooft (be): “A director’s perspective on the production”
12.30-14.00: Lunch
14.00-15.00: Willmar Sauter (se) and David Wiles (uk): “The Theatre of Drottningholm: Performing Today on the Baroque Stage
15.15-16.30: Roundtable discussion
18.30: Dinner @ Drottningholm
19.30 The Magic Flute @ Drottningholm

The speakers:

Felicity Baker - Reader Emeritus in French, UCL (uk)
Sergio Durante - Professor, Department of Art and Music History, Università degli Studi di Padova (it)
Jette Barnholdt Hansen - Associate Professor, Department of Rhetoric, University of Copenhagen (dk)
Jørgen Langdalen - PhD, senior researcher in music history, the National Library of Norway, Oslo (no)
John A. Rice - PhD in music history, Akademie für Mozart-Forschung in Salzburg, Rochester (USA)
Willmar Sauter - Professor, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Stockholm University (se)
Magnus Tessing Schneider - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Stockholm University (dk/se)
Mark Tatlow - Artistic Director, Drottningholm Palace Theatre (uk/se)
Sigrid T’Hooft - stage director (be)
David Wiles - Professor, Department of Drama and Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London (uk)

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Registration fee: 100 SEK/day - Students: 50 SEK/day (excl. meals and opera tickets)

For more info and registration write to: