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Before her all Rome trembled

A sneak preview of Cecilia Bartoli’s new recording of Norma may be found on the website of The Guardian.


  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin says:

    To everyone who asked if Bartoli’s Salzburg “Norma” will be broadcast, I just received confirmation from the festival that it is NOT being broadcast or recorded for radio or television.

    Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Decca is releasing the recording in Germany and Austria tomorrow (17 May) so they can hawk it at the festival, and in the UK on Monday (release in the USA is scheduled for 11 June).

    This doesn’t rule out that there may be a radio broadcast (likely ORF) when she repeats it at the regular summer Salzburger Festspiele for five performances between 17 and 30 August. But with Universal Music’s strong presence, that might not happen, either, as it would ostensibly cut into CD sales.

  • luvtennis says:

    Why do I feel in the presence of Decca marketers desperate to justify their existence as the market for classical CDs dries up. Bartholdi has been one of the few to sell records. Now bocelli and Bartholi are near done and there is nothing coming after as far as anyone can see.

    No disrespect but the length and similarity of the opinions offered are striking to me. I know I am probably being terribly rude, and apologies for that.

    • Nerva Nelli says:

      “Bartholdi has been one of the few to sell records.”

      Felix? Fanny?

    • la vociaccia says:

      Never fear, luvtennis. There’s still one “vibrant young tenor” who has yet to complete the remaining four of his five-CD Decca contract…..

    • armerjacquino says:

      I quite liked this NORMA. I found it interesting.

      I don’t work for Decca.

      • luvtennis says:

        You also didn’t write a seven paragraph analysis of the recording emphasizing the Italianate qualities of a singer who distorts vowels sound, drops consonants and often sounds like she is about to have an apoplectic fit on any music that tests her upper register.

      • kashania says:

        I found it interesting.

        Me too. It put to mind the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times!” ;)

  • There’s one more thing reg Bartoli as Norma, which is rather a private concept and possibly more difficult to elaborate on. I see the role as a combination of steely exterior and melting vulnerability internally. There’s is nothing in Bartoli’s persona, way of singing or temperament to suggest this complicated personality. When she goes ‘steely’ as Norma she just sounds pissed off. It’s simply not convincing. Not just technically / vocally, but as an impersonation.

    • luvtennis says:


      I think Norma must come across as noble even when provoked. Otherwise, the sacrifice at the end makes no sense.

      Bartholdi sounds coarse and vulgar in her anger. It cheapens the role. Tragedy sinks to mere melodrama. Bartoli mistakes theatrics for drama and real emotion.

      Sort of like Sills did at times.

  • -Ed. says:

    Why does a car horn sound at 2:29 of this Sutherland/Horne recording of Mira o Norma? It has caused me to wrench my neck on several sleepy occasions. I should sue.

    As for Bartoli.. she has recorded so many slices of perfection, she has my leave to do whatever she wants. But I prolly won’t buy her Norma.