02nd Mar - 24th Mar 2019

LA Opera: Mozart’s “The Clemency of Titus”

“James Conlon, one of the most gifted conductors working in opera, and the LAO Orchestra brought the tenderness, buoyancy and dignity of Mozart’s music to the fore. The afternoon spent in the company of these fine talents on stage and in the pit made it a day to remember.” – Seen and Heard International

“Maestro Conlon in the pit proved once again how adept he is with Mozart and I would be hard pressed to find fault in his performance as a conductor or accompanist. In an opera where the utmost care has to be taken to sustain not only the musical architecture but the theatrical tension his constant bridging of tempos were perfectly judged. His support of the cast also showed an eagle eye to smooth the rare vocal misstep. The LA Opera Orchestra played with a suppleness and refinement that I’m now coming to expect from them. ” – Parterre Box

“There was, however, one individual who wove all these threads together, and that was James Conlon. The performance he conducted combined the soufflé lightness and melodious rapture of “Cosi fan tutte,” the magnitude of sense of humanity that pervades “The Magic Flute” and the grandeur of Mozart’s never-to-be-finished “Requiem.” No doubt, after these performances “La Clemenza di Tito” may receive a long overdue renaissance.” –Los Angeles Daily News

“The LA Opera Orchestra did its usual tremendous job of presenting Mozart at his ceremonial best with Conlon always attentive to the singers…” – Bachtrack

“I was hooked musically from Conlon’s initial downbeat. There was a gripping urgency behind the opera-seria formality, even in those moments when Mozart’s choice of musical style has always struck me as more restrained than I would expect from the dramatic situation.” – Opera Wire

“James Conlon, a master of the Mozartean repertoire, guided the LA Opera Orchestra through such a brilliant performance that we were forced to ask: Why isn’t this opera performed more often?” – Culture Spot LA

“The brightest star of this production has to be James Conlon. The illuminating performance he conducted combined the light, melodic rapture of Cosi fan tutte, the Masonic-inspired humanity of The Magic Flute, and the magnitude of the Requiem.” – San Francisco Classical Voice

“Conlon launched into the overture, which is first-rate Mozart, with a shot of adrenaline and fizz that propelled him and the L.A. Opera Orchestra throughout the evening. His conducting and the orchestra’s playing conveyed audible delight at exploring a whole new corner of Mozart.” – LA Times

“…[as] conductor James Conlon tore into the overture, the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra played with crisp fury… [and] were on excellent form.” – Opera (UK)

“Under the leadership of James Conlon, the LA Opera Orchestra performed with great presence and translucence.” – Broadway World 

“The orchestral performance, under James Conlon, was on a very high level: clean, lively, and well balanced. His tempi were convincingly chosen: Each number was given its distinct musical character, including the expressive clarinet solo in “Parto” and the basset-horn solo in “Non Piu di Fiori”.” – Classical Voice

“[Conlon] flawlessly captures Mozart’s spirit and orchestrations, insofar that this is the closest anyone will ever get to the 18th-century phenom. Attendees are taken for a historic ride once the celebratory overture resounds, intermixed with hints of distress, giving way to recitatives, arias, duets, and trios that build upon one another, characterized by harmony and internal conflict. Conlon, like the true helmsman he is, urges a flurry of important aural emotions from his orchestra, which thrillingly enfold the drama.” – LA Excites 

““Clockwork consistency” is synonymous with James Conlon, and it remains that way in this La clemenza di Tito.” – Concerto Net

“Of course maestro James Conlon with his deep understanding of the music by Mozart and Libretto by Caterino Mazzola led the orchestra masterfully.” – AOL

“…what outshone most were the voices and music, all of which breathed utterly freely and satisfyingly. Just what was achieved with textural vibrancy and attentively punctuated phrasing in the overture, conductor James Conlon maintained over its two acts. The L.A. Opera Orchestra heeded the baton master excellently with faultless playing that exposed the beauty of the score and supported the singers well.” – Opera Chaser Blog

““The Clemency of Titus” is memorable on several fronts: Its cast is talented and diverse; its artistic design is borrowed straight from a painting in the Louvre and its passionate orchestra carries the show to new heights. Combine that with conductor James Conlon on the podium, and you have a tour de force that redefines the art form of opera for modern audiences.” – Daily Trojan

“Music director James Conlon brings his joyful wizardry to the pit, conducting the crack LA Opera orchestra with command and nuance, and allowing Mozart’s highlighting of the harpsichord and reeds to take center stage when appropriate.” – Los Angeles Blade

“Conductor James Conlon also expertly leads a well-paced and sensitive performance, navigating the variety of emotion in the opera,  including the tension of a number of life and death decisions being made.” – The Screen Pick

“Maestro James Conlon kept the orchestra going with a lot of energy and a fair amount of crispness. The overture was lively and the brass clear. The clarinet has a lot of beautiful soli and did very well with all his exposed music.” – The Opera Tattler

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