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University of Iowa News Release


March 28, 2007

Ketterer To Discuss Mozart's Last Opera At April 5 Lecture

The final work of one of the greatest composers of all time, Mozart, is the subject of the University of Iowa Opera Studies Group lecture at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the Gerber Lounge, English-Philosophy Building on the University of Iowa campus.

"The Clemencies of Titus: Backgrounds to Mozart's Last Opera" will be presented by Robert Ketterer (left), an associate professor of classics in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Ketterer will discuss this opera as part of the social and musical texture for Mozart's final effort at opera seria, or dramatic opera, in 1791.

Mozart's "La clemenza di Tito" which means "The Clemency of Titus" in Italian, is the most famous version of the popular libretto by Pietro Metastasio. It was first performed in Prague in 1792.  The text to this work, first produced in 1734, was set by more than 40 composers between its premiere in Vienna and Giuseppe Arena's version for Turin in 1839. 

"It was a very influential libretto, based on the story of the Roman emperor Titus, whom 18th century enthusiasts called antiquity's best and most beloved prince and the most interesting character in the ancient and modern theater," Ketterer said.

Ketterer has taught at the UI since 1988. He received his bachelor's degree from Lawrence University and both master's and doctoral degrees in classical studies from the University of Michigan. He continued his academic career at the University of Notre Dame and Valparaiso University before coming to Iowa. Ketterer researches Greek and Roman drama and the reception of the classical tradition. His book, "Ancient Romans in Early Opera," is currently in press.

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Group, part of UI International Programs, was established in 1999 as a forum to foster the study of opera and related genres from interdisciplinary perspectives. The group's purpose is to bring together scholars who have a special expertise or interest in opera to share their views on various issues associated with research and performance of operatic works. For more information, visit:

For more information on the series or special accommodations to attend any of the lectures, contact Roberta Marvin, Opera Studies Group co-director, at 319-335-4034 or

International Programs enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-335-2026,; Program: Katherine Eberle, 319-335-1675,; Writer: Erin Vaughn.