Cher Public

Pièce de résistance

Bartoli NormaAfter enduring a pitiful performance of Verdi’s Aida at one of Italy’s most beautiful opera houses—Napoli’s Teatro San Carlo—in an ugly, mindless production performed in the “any arm you can raise, I can raise higher” style of acting, I was hopeful that my next operatic engagement would offer greater rewards: Norma at the Edinburgh Festival.  Read more »

Where in the world is Cecilia Bartoli?

“Famed mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli has canceled her California tour, including performances March 31 and April 2 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, organizers have announced. Tour organizers cited ‘unforeseen circumstances’ for the cancellation but gave no further details.” [Mercury News]

Fox and friends

Cecilia Bartoli, the revered, ebullient, and unique mezzo-soprano, does not like to fly in airplanes. Yet she managed to journey to St. Petersburg, Russia—apparently she swam there, if we are to trust YouTube—to dig up the preferred tunes of 18th century “tsaritsas” (empresses). Ms. Bartoli is known for her innovative projects and for the infectious enthusiasm she brings to them, but certainly she must be setting records here—we are talking 11 (count them) world-premiere recordings. And what a thrill for the audience at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, which hosted not one but two sold-out evenings with the reigning queen of opera-you-never-would-have-known joined by the superb I Barocchisti ensemble under the direction of Diego Fasolis.   Read more »

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Heartbreak fridge

Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

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Count me in

The legions of New York opera buffs who now can’t talk about anything but Javier Camarena will be happy to know that there’s now a DVD release of their new favorite tenor in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory available.

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Racing with the moon

For better or worse, Decca’s new Norma recording will ultimately be embraced—or dismissed—by those reacting directly to Cecilia Bartoli’s controversial portrayal.

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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.

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Prequel

This cozy video of Il Barbiere di Siviglia was recently re-released and will be of interest to those who are only familiar with Cecilia Bartoli‘s work after she became an international star.

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Einspring can really hang you up the most

Winter Met sensation Pretty Yende does another jump-in this weekend, again in Le Comte Ory, but this time at the Theater an der Wien.

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The bald mezzo-soprano

She’s been a showgirl, a bubble dancer, a drag king, and of course a maimed statue.

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