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Bartoli, Cecilia

Cecilia Bartoli

Opera singer

The exceptionally talented mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli has had critics raving and opera fans flocking to her concerts since she began her career in the mid-1980s. She is the rarest of creatures, press reports say, a coloratura mezzo. Opera lovers call Bartoli's voice a gift, something that comes along only once a generation. Newsweek's Katrine Ames raved: "She has a voice that bubbles up through three and a half octaves, and runs down like rich, warm brandy, the range matched by breakneck agility and breathtaking fioriture." Linda Blandford of the New York Times noted: "[Her voice] is all of one piece, seamless, as vibrant at the top as it is on the bottom." Still going strong into the 2000s, Bartoli continued to rack up astonishing record sales for a classical artist—more than 700,000 copies worldwide of her 1999 release, The Vivaldi Album by 2004. Her 2003 release, The Salieri Album, quickly shot to the top of the classical charts around the world.

Bartoli was born on June 4, 1966, in Rome, Italy, the daughter of professional singers, a lyric soprano and a dramatic tenor. To support the family (there are three children—a son and two daughters), Pietro Bartoli abandoned his solo career and joined the Rome Opera chorus. By all reports, he was a temperamental man and not easy to please. Bartoli told Blandford in the New York Times: "When I was young, I was always afraid of my father." The Bartoli household was far from wealthy. Shoes were passed from brother to sisters.

Bartoli's interest in music began when she was a child. She would go about the house imitating her mother's voice. Bartoli's mother trained her daughter to sing and today remains her only vocal teacher. Bartoli has said that her mother hated voices edged with rigidity and tension, and she credits her mother with helping her develop her agile singing style.

Performed at a Young Age

Bartoli's first public performance occurred at age nine when she sang the shepherd's song offstage at the Rome Opera during Puccini's Tosca. As a teenager, she grew disinterested in voice and considered becoming a flamenco dancer and then a trombone player. Eventually she returned to voice. As she observed to Newsweek's Ames: "Slowly, I got very passionate about it. When my voice started developing, it was such a strange feeling." At 17 she enrolled at the Academy of Saint Cecilia in Rome for further training.

Two years later talent scouts selected Bartoli to appear on Fantastico, a Rome television show starring two opera singers, Leo Nucci and Katia Ricciarelli. On the program, Bartoli sang the "Barcarolle" duet from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffman and a duet from Rossini's The Barber of Seville. While she has acknowledged she was frightened at the time, Bartoli told Innaurato of Vanity Fair: "I had the good fortune to be seen by a big audience."

The exposure was just the career boost she needed. Bartoli soon debuted in The Barber of Seville in Rome. She was then given an audition before record producer Christopher Raeburn. He secured a deal for her to record The Barber of Seville and several Rossini arias. Raeburn later played Bartoli's tapes for agent Jack Mastroianni, a highly regarded agent with Columbia Artists Management. Mastroianni was so impressed he made arrangements to listen to Bartoli in person. Her mother accompanied the young singer to the audition. Mastroianni remembered the day to Blandford in the New York Times: "The intensity between the two women was so strong that it was as though musically they were a union, as though every breath the one took, the other took with her." Mastroianni liked what he heard and agreed to manage the unknown singer. As Blandford reported, "[He] became passionate on her behalf: he leaned on friends and longtime colleagues to hire her on his word."

Mastroianni also decided he would steer Bartoli's career away from operatic productions and concentrate instead on recitals. As Blandford noted: "Instead of a four-minute aria or two in which to make an opera debut, he gave her two hours in which to seduce."

Powerful Voice Proved Doubters Wrong

It was not easy at first finding places that would book Bartoli. As Mastroianni told Vanity Fair's Albert Innaurato: "They all said, 'When she's at the Met, come back.' They thought her voice was too small. They'd say, 'It has to be a big voice or it's no voice.'"

Some critics continue to argue that Bartoli's voice lacked the power to reach the back seats in an auditorium. Bartoli responded to the charge to Newsweek's Ames: "If you have agility, you don't have much volume. The most important thing isn't size, but projection. Some people have both, but they're gods." As Bartoli told Innaurato, "I am a singer of quality, not quantity. I am not worried about volume. I want to control the timbre, the nuance. In Italy there is a big obsession with a big voice. I prefer control. When the voice is big, it is not possible to play with it. Mine is a voice for those who know how to listen."

She made her American debut at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart concert in 1990. There she sang selections from Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and from Rossini's La Donna del Lago. Reviews were generally favorable for the new mezzo, and word began circulating about her. Bartoli soon made her Paris debut singing for the role of Cherubino in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Because her voice is so well suited to the flourishes and scale runs of Rossini and Mozart, the two composers have become her favorites to sing and record. Bartoli discussed her opinions of them with Matthew Gurewitsch of the New York Times: "Rossini is more spicy, more of the earth. Mozart is sweeter, more spiritual, an angel from paradise. Rossini is pure virtuosity. Mozart is more legato; his music needs more support, more control. It's harder for me." Gurewitsch commented: "The effort does not show." After Bartoli performed at an all-Rossini recital in New York in the spring of 1992, critic Allan Kozinn observed in the New York Times: "Her technical assets are considerable. Her scale passages, runs, roulades and trills are cleanly and precisely articulated. She uses her vibrato selectively and thoughtfully, rather than just lavishing it uniformly on everything she sings. The sound she produces is smooth and strong throughout her range, particularly at the top, and her coloristic sense is impeccable."

For the Record …

Born on June 4, 1966, in Rome, Italy; daughter of Pietro Angelo and Silvana (Bazzoni) Bartoli. Education: Attended Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy.

First sang professionally on television in Rome, mid-1980s; made American debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival, 1990; made Paris stage debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro; made La Scala (Milan, Italy) debut in Rossini's Le Comte Ory, 1990; sang roles of Cherubino in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1992; made American operatic stage debut with the Houston Grand Opera singing Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, 1993; made New York Metropolitan Opera debut as Despina in The Marriage of Figaro, 1996; debuted at London's Royal Opera, 2001; recorded more than 20 albums for the Decca label by 2003.

Addresses: Record company—Decca Broadway, 825 8th Ave., New York, NY 10019. Website—Cecilia Bartoli Official Website: http://www.deccaclassics.com/artists/bartoli/.

Made Her Operatic Debut

Critics and fans began clamoring for Bartoli to sing a major operatic role. She had performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in three Mozart operas in 1992, but, as reviews noted, this was an orchestra, not a opera company. In April of 1993 Bartoli made her operatic stage debut as Rosina in the Houston Grand Opera's production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville. The hype surrounding her helped the Houston company sell out all seven shows, one month before opening night. William Spiegelman of the Wall Street Journal commented on her Houston performance: "Displaying the instincts of a born actress, [Bartoli] expresses Rosina's mercurial temperament with her whole body: Eyes, hands, feet (she studied flamenco as a teenager) work together to create a character who can be alternately docile or dangerous, a kitten or a lynx, depending on her mood."

Interviewers who have met Bartoli in person comment on her playfulness and her down-to-earth personality. "She is a natural comedian," Innaurato wrote, adding that "her features are so mobile that her eyes manage nuances within nuances. Her mouth footnotes, italicizes, and sometimes contradicts her words. Bartoli the singer can manage impressive staccati—rapid notes sung detached up and down the scale. Cecilia the person also has a staccato; she can touch rapidly on a dozen moods in half a second, leaving her interlocutor charmed but a little behind and slightly off-balance."

Bartoli's recordings continue to sell well, and shrewd marketing hasn't hurt. Her first solo recording, Rossini Arias, released in 1989, featured her posed provocatively in a black lace dress and red gloves. The public responded. One of her later recordings, If You Love Me, hit the top of Billboard 's classical chart in 1993 and stayed there for months.

The Stereo Review commentary about this recording of 17th- and 18th-century Italian songs reflects the general reaction to the work: "Immerse yourself in Bartoli's recital and savor her singing. This captivating young artist never allows monotony to set in: Her light, dusky mezzo-soprano enfolds these lovely songs in caressingly warm and purely focused tones free of excessive vibrato. They flow with an unforced naturalness, and the decorative passages (Lotti's Pur Dicesti is a good example) are delivered with unostentatious ease. Bartoli's art combines simplicity and sophistication. The passion in her singing is conveyed with a Baroque sensibility, with unfailing taste, and, whenever the texts call for it (as in the Paisiello operas), with an enlivening spark of humor."

In reviewing Bartoli's various recitals and opera recordings, Matthew Gurewitsch observed in the New York Times: "As total performances, the opera sets cannot be recommended, but that is no fault of her [own]: against the rest of the unimpressive cast in The Barber [of Seville], her Rosina sparkles; in [Daniel] Barenboim's leaden treatments, she is the bright spot; her rhetorical fire even sets Mr. [Nikolaus] Harnoncourt's grim, Prussian performance momentarily ablaze. The recitals, though, are altogether bewitching."

A Unique Personality

Bartoli's formidable talent is enhanced by her striking appearance. Martha Duffy described the singer in Time: "Her dark good looks project grandly across the footlights: a mane of lustrous hair, huge brown eyes, a generous mouth and milky shoulders that enhance a decolletage." Reports often refer to her melodious, easy laugh, her stable temperament and her "Italianness." She is considered unique in the opera world for her admiration of motorcycles, rock groups like Led Zeppelin, and jazz great Ella Fitzgerald.

When asked why she sings, Bartoli told Vanity Fair's Innaurato: "My parents, my character, and God. I sing because I sing, not to earn money. I love music, not the business." Nevertheless, she has said she knows how she must proceed with her career because she has lived with singers all of her life. "I've been in the front row."

If doubt remains about the depth of Bartoli's talent, the undecided may wish to consider music critic Peter G. Davis's comments, as quoted in Vanity Fair: "Every time I've heard her, she has been even better. She has sumptuous tone, dazzling coloratura, and is a wonderful musician. She's been hyped like everybody else, but she actually is the real thing."

With her popularity stronger than ever in the 2000s, Bartoli enjoys the luxury of turning down as many offers to record and perform as she accepts. With her albums, recorded exclusively for the Decca record label, topping charts around the world, she can afford to be choosy. "I make a recording only when I feel it's worth doing," she explained to the Knight Ridder Tribune News Service's John von Rhein. She also prefers not to travel by plane, making her relatively infrequent appearances abroad even more special.

Selected discography

Rossini Arias, London/Decca, 1989.

Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, London/Decca, 1991.

Mozart: Arias, London/Decca, 1991.

Rossini Recital, London/Decca, 1991.

Requiem, London/Decca, 1992.

If You Love Me, 18th Century Italian Songs, London/Decca, 1992.

Italian Songs, London/Decca, 1993.

Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut, London/Decca, 1993.

Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, London/Decca, 1993.

Rossini: La Cenerentola, London/Decca, 1993.

Cecilia Bartoli: A Portrait, London/Decca, 1995.

Chant d'amour, London/Decca, 1996.

Rossini/Donizetti/Bellini—An Italian Songbook, London/Decca, 1997.

Live in Italy, London/Decca, 1998.

Rossini: Il Turco in Italia, Polygram, 1998.

Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti, Decca, 1999.

The Vivaldi Album, Decca, 1999.

Mozart: Mitridate, Decca, 1999.

Greatest Mozart Show on Earth, Decca, 2000.

Handel: Rinaldo, Decca, 2000.

Dreams and Fables: Gluck Italian Arias, Decca, 2001.

Essential Mozart: 32 Of His Greatest Masterpieces, Decca, 2001.

Mozart: Famous Opera Arias, Apex, 2001.

Rossini: Cantatas, Vol. 2, Decca, 2001.

Essential Rossini, Decca, 2002.

Gluck: Italian Arias, Decca, 2002.

The Art of Cecilia Bartoli, Decca, 2002.

Voice of Mozart, Decca, 2002.

The Voice of the Baroque, Decca, 2002.

The Salieri Album, Decca, 2003.

The Vivaldi Album, Decca, 2003.

Sources

Periodicals

Knight Ridder Tribune News Service, February 24, 2004.

Newsweek, May 3, 1993.

New York Times, February 23, 1992.

New York Times Magazine, March 14, 1993.

Stereo Review, April 1993.

Time, December 14, 1992.

Vanity Fair, April 1993.

Wall Street Journal, April 30, 1993.

Online

"Cecilia Bartoli," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (September 2, 2004).

—Carol Hopkins andMichael Belfiore

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Bartoli, Cecilia

Cecilia Bartoli

Opera singer

First Performance at Age Nine

Sacrificed Volume for Quality

Made Operatic Stage Debut

Hit the Top of Billboards Classical Chart

Talent Enhanced by Beauty

Selected discography

Sources

The young, beautiful, and exceptionally talented mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli has critics raving and opera fans flocking to her concerts. She is the rarest of creatures, press reports say, a coloratura mezzo. Opera lovers call Bartolis voice a gift, something that comes along only once a generation. News-weeks Katrine Ames raved: She has a voice that bubbles up through three and a half octaves, and runs down like rich, warm brandy, the range matched by breakneck agility and breathtaking fioriture Linda Blandford of the New York Times noted: [Her voice] is all of one piece, seamless, as vibrant at the top as it is on the bottom.

Bartoli was born in Rome on June 4,1966, the daughter of professional singers, a lyric soprano and a dramatic tenor. To support the family (there are three childrena son and two daughters), Pietro Bartoli abandoned his solo career and joined the Rome Opera chorus. By all reports, he was a temperamental man and not easy to please. Bartoli told Blandford in the New York Times: When I was young, I was always afraid of my father. The Bartoli household was far from wealthy. Shoes were passed from brother to sisters.

Bartolis interest in music began when she was a child. She would go about the house imitating her mothers voice. Bartolis mother trained her daughter to sing and today remains her only vocal teacher. Bartoli has said that her mother hated voices edged with rigidity and tension, and she credits her mother with helping her develop her agile singing style.

First Performance at Age Nine

Bartolis first public performance occurred at age nine when she sang the shepherds song offstage at the Rome Opera during Puccinis Tosca. As a teenager, she grew disinterested in voice and considered becoming a flamenco dancer and then a trombone player. Eventually she returned to voice. As she observed to Newsweeks Ames: Slowly, I got very passionate about it. When my voice started developing, it was such a strange feeling. At 17 she enrolled at the Academy of Saint Cecilia in Rome for further training.

Two years later talent scouts selected Bartoli to appear on Fantastico, a Rome television show starring two opera singers, Leo Nucci and Katia Ricciarelli. On the program, Bartoli sang the Barcarolle duet from Offenbachs Les Contes dHoffman and a duet from Rossinis The Barber of Seville. While she has acknowledged she was frightened at the time, Bartoli told Innaurato of Vanity Fair: I had the good fortune to be seen by a big audience.

For the Record

Born June 4,1966, in Rome, Italy; name pronounced Cheh-cheel-ya Bar-toe-lee; daughter of Pietro Angelo and Silvana (Bazzoni) Bartoli. Education: Attended Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy.

First sang professionally on television in Rome, mid-1980s; made American debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival, 1990; made Paris stage debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro; made La Scala (Milan, Italy) debut in Rossinis Le Comte Ory, 1990; sang roles of Cherubino in Mozarts The Marriage of Figaro and Dorabella in Mozarts Cosi fan tutte with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1992; made American operatic stage debut with the Houston Grand Opera singing Rosina in Rossinis The Barber of Seville, 1993.

Addresses: Management Vincent & Farrell Associates, 157 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019.

The exposure was just the career boost she needed. Bartoli soon debuted in The Barber of Seville in Rome. She was then given an audition before record producer Christopher Raeburn. He secured a deal for her to record The Barber of Seville and several Rossini arias. Raeburn later played Bartolis tapes for agent Jack Mastroianni, a highly regarded agent with Columbia Artists Management. Mastroianni was so impressed he made arrangements to listen to Bartoli in person. Her mother accompanied the young singer to the audition. Mastroianni remembered the day to Blandford in the New York Times: The intensity between the two women was so strong that it was as though musically they were a union, as though every breath the one took, the other took with her. Mastroianni liked what he heard and agreed to manage the unknown singer. As Bland-ford reported, [He] became passionate on her behalf: he leaned on friends and longtime colleagues to hire her on his word.

Mastroianni also decided he would steer Bartolis career away from operatic productions and concentrate instead on recitals. As Blandford noted: Instead of a four-minute aria or two in which to make an opera debut, he gave her two hours in which to seduce.

Sacrificed Volume for Quality

It was not easy at first finding places that would book Bartoli. As Mastroianni told Vanity Fairs Albert Innaurato: They all said, When shes at the Met, come back. They thought her voice was too small. Theyd say, It has to be a big voice or its no voice.

Some critics continue to argue that Bartolis voice lacked the power to reach the back seats in an auditorium. Bartoli responded to the charge to Newsweeks Ames: If you have agility, you dont have much volume. The most important thing isnt size, but projection. Some people have both, but theyre gods. As Bartoli told Innaurato, I am a singer of quality, not quantity. I am not worried about volume. I want to control the timbre, the nuance. In Italy there is a big obsession with a big voice. I prefer control. When the voice is big, it is not possible to play with it. Mine is a voice for those who know how to listen.

She made her American debut at Lincoln Centers Mostly Mozart concert in 1990. There she sang selections from Mozarts La clemenza di Tito and from Rossinis La Donna del Lago. Reviews were generally favorable for the new mezzo, and word began circulating about her. Bartoli soon made her Paris debut singing for the role of Cherubino in Mozarts The Marriage of Figaro.

Made Operatic Stage Debut

Because her voice is so well suited to the flourishes and scale runs of Rossini and Mozart, the two composers have become her favorites to sing and record. Bartoli discussed her opinions of them with Matthew Gure-witsch of the New York Times: Rossini is more spicy, more of the earth. Mozart is sweeter, more spiritual, an angel from paradise. Rossini is pure virtuosity. Mozart is more legato; his music needs more support, more control. Its harder for me. Gurewitsch commented: The effort does not show. After Bartoli performed at an all-Rossini recital in New York in the spring of 1992, critic Allan Kozinn observed in the New York Times: Her technical assets are considerable. Her scale passages, runs, roulades and trills are cleanly and precisely articulated. She uses her vibrato selectively and thoughtfully, rather than just lavishing it uniformly on everything she sings. The sound she produces is smooth and strong throughout her range, particularly at the top, and her coloristic sense is impeccable.

Critics and fans began clamoring for Bartoli to sing a major operatic role. She had performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in three Mozart operas in 1992, but, as reviews noted, this was an orchestra, not a opera company. In April of 1993 Bartoli made her operatic stage debut as Rosina in the Houston Grand Operas production of Rossinis The Barber of Seville.

The hype surrounding her helped the Houston company sell out all seven shows, one month before opening night. William Spiegelman of the Wall Street Journal commented on her Houston performance: Displaying the instincts of a born actress, [Bartoli] expresses Rosinas mercurial temperament with her whole body: Eyes, hands, feet (she studied flamenco as a teenager) work together to create a character who can be alternately docile or dangerous, a kitten or a lynx, depending on her mood.

Interviewers who have met Bartoli in person comment on her playfulness and her down-to-earth personality. She is a natural comedian, Innaurato wrote, adding that her features are so mobile that her eyes manage nuances within nuances. Her mouth footnotes, italicizes, and sometimes contradicts her words. Bartoli the singer can manage impressive staccatirapid notes sung detached up and down the scale. Cecilia the person also has a staccato; she can touch rapidly on a dozen moods in half a second, leaving her interlocutor charmed but a little behind and slightly off-balance.

The publics appetite for Bartolis music appears to be unsated. Concerts continue to sell out, and her performances are described in detail in major publications. Admirers can purchase her 100-minute video, A Portrait. Most reviews referred anxiously to Bartolis debut with New Yorks Metropolitan Opera, where she would play Despina in Mozarts Cosi fan tutte during the 1994-95 season.

Hit the Top of Billboards Classical Chart

Bartolis recordings continue to sell well, and shrewd marketing hasnt hurt. Her first solo recording, Rossini Arias, released in 1989, featured her posed provocatively in a black lace dress and red gloves. The public responded. One of her later recordings, If You Love Me, hit the top of Billboards classical chart in 1993 and stayed there for months.

The Stereo Review commentary about this recording of 17th- and 18th-century Italian songs reflects the general reaction to the work: Immerse yourself in Bartolis recital and savor her singing. This captivating young artist never allows monotony to set in: Her light, dusky mezzo-soprano enfolds these lovely songs in caressingly warm and purely focused tones free of excessive vibrato. They flow with an unforced naturalness, and the decorative passages (Lottis Pur Dicesti is a good example) are delivered with unostentatious ease. Bartolis art combines simplicity and sophistication. The passion in her singing is conveyed with a Baroque sensibility, with unfailing taste, and, whenever the texts call for it (as in the Paisiello operas), with an enlivening spark of humor.

In reviewing Bartolis various recitals and opera recordings, Matthew Gurewitsch observed in the New York Times: As total performances, the opera sets cannot be recommended, but that is no fault of her [own]: against the rest of the unimpressive cast in The Barber [of Seville], her Rosina sparkles; in [Daniel] Barenboims leaden treatments, she is the bright spot; her rhetorical fire even sets Mr. [Nikolaus] Hamoncourts grim, Prussian performance momentarily ablaze. The recitals, though, are altogether bewitching.

Talent Enhanced by Beauty

Bartolis formidable talent is enhanced by her striking appearance. Martha Duffy described the singer in Time: Her dark good looks project grandly across the footlights: a mane of lustrous hair, huge brown eyes, a generous mouth and milky shoulders that enhance a decolletage. Reports often refer to her melodious, easy laugh, her stable temperament and her Italian-ness. She is considered unique in the opera world for her admiration of motorcycles, rock stars like Led Zeppelin, and jazz great Ella Fitzgerald. Unmarried, Bartoli lives with her mother and sister. Her parents separated in 1989, and her father now lives in Rimini, Italy.

When asked why she sings, Bartoli told Vanity Fairs Innaurato: My parents, my character, and God. I sing because I sing, not to earn money. I love music, not the business. As for her future, Bartoli seems to be biding her time about taking on the big-money roles like Carmen, the lead in the opera of the same name by Bizet. I dont feel a soprano color in my voice, she told Newsweeks Katrine Ames. She has said she knows how she must proceed with her career because she has lived with singers all of her life. Ive been in the front row.

If doubt remains about the depth of Bartolis talent, the undecided may wish to consider music critic Peter G. Daviss comments, as quoted in Vanity Fair: Every time Ive heard her, she has been even better. She has sumptuous tone, dazzling coloratura, and is a wonderful musician. Shes been hyped like everybody else, but she actually is the real thing.

Selected discography

Rossini Arias, London/Decca, 1989.
Mozart Opera and Concert Arias, London/Decca, 1989.
Rossini Heroines (with Orchestra and Chorus of Venices Teatro la Fenice), London/Decca, 1992.
If You Love Me, London/Decca, 1993.
Cenerentola, London/Decca, 1993.

Sources

Newsweek, May 3, 1993.

New York Times, February 23, 1992.

New York Times Magazine, March 14, 1993.

Stereo Review, April 1993.

Time, December 14, 1992.

Vanity Fair, April 1993.

Wall Street Journal, April 30, 1993.

Carol Hopkins

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"Bartoli, Cecilia." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Bartoli, Cecilia." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bartoli-cecilia

Bartoli, Cecilia

CECILIA BARTOLI

Born: Rome, Italy, 4 June 1966

Genre: Classical


One of the most popular mezzo-sopranos to have emerged in the 1990s, Cecilia Bartoli has a brilliant vocal technique and radiant personality that have propelled her to international renown as an accomplished recitalist and opera singer. Nevertheless, her career is considered unconventional by traditional diva standards.

Born in Rome, Italy, to a family of professional singers, Bartoli was coached by her mother and father while getting her musical training at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia. She made her first opera appearance at the age of nine as a shepherd boy in a production of Tosca in Rome.

At nineteen she was spotted by conductor Riccardo Muti on an Italian TV talent show and offered an audition at La Scala. Herbert von Karajan invited her to sing at the 1990 Salzburg Festival (he died before the concert could take place), and Daniel Barenboim saw her performing in a tribute to Maria Callas on French television. The meeting with Barenboim led to an important collaboration with Barenboim and the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt that focused on Mozart.

Known as an immaculate interpreter of Mozart and Rossini, Bartoli is also renowned for her performances of Cherubino (with Harnoncourt at the Zurich Opera), Zerlina (with Muti at La Scala and Barenboim at the Salzburg Festival), Cenerentola (with Chailly at the Bologna Opera and Houston Grand Opera), Despina (with Muti at the Vienna Opera and Levine at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City).

Though she made a name for herself singing Mozart and Rossini, she has a passion for music of the eighteenth century and earlier and has actively explored the music of Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Gluck, and Monteverdi. Her interest in the repertoire has resulted in the rediscovery of a number of neglected pieces. It is a repertoire that suits the size of her voice and her formidable vocal technique, but not one that fits the meatier expectations of the full-fledged diva.

Although blessed with both an agile voice and a commanding presence, she is not so well suited temperamentally and vocally for bigger dramatic operatic roles. Indeed, she is at her best in operas that feature ensemble casts rather than big star roles.

Singing opera is not the major focus of Bartoli's career, in fact. She appears in only a few productions a year. She is a busy recitalist and has collaborated with numerous partners, including Barenboim, Adras Schiff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Myung-Wha Chung, and James Levine. Her interest in Early Music has led to collaborations with some of the world's leading period instrument ensembles and Early Music specialists, including Les Art Florrissants, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Concentus Musicus Wien, and others.

Bartoli won four Grammy awards for Best Vocal Performancein 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2001. Her recordings were among the best-selling in classical music during the 1990s. At one point five of her recordings appeared on Billboard 's top-fifteen classical recordings chart at one time.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Cecilia Bartoli: A Portrait (Polygram, 1995); Cecilia BartoliAn Italian Songbook (Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini) (Polygram, 1997); Cecilia BartoliThe Vivaldi Album, with Il Giradino Armonico (Polygram, 1999).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

M. Hoelterhoff, Cinderella and Company: Backstage at the Opera with Cecilia Bartoli (New York, 1999).

douglas mclennan

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"Bartoli, Cecilia." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/bartoli-cecilia

Bartoli, Cecilia

Cecilia Bartoli (chāchēl´yä bärtō´lē), 1966–, Italian mezzo-soprano, b. Rome. Bartoli debuted at Verona (1987), first performed in the United States at Lincoln Center (1990), and in 1996 made her Metropolitan Opera debut. She is particularly noted for her superb coloratura singing in operas by Mozart, e.g., in The Marriage of Figaro as Cherubino and Don Giovanni as Zerlina, and by Rossini, e.g., in the Barber of Seville as Rosina. Her voice has been praised for its flexibility, wide range, and warm timbre, and her characterizations are marked by a charming liveliness. Bartoli has also become popular through her recordings of works by Mozart, Rossini, Vivaldi, Gluck and others, but she has also focused on works by little-known composers.

See K. Chernin, Cecilia Bartoli: The Passion of Song (1997); M. Hoelterhoff, Cinderella and Company: Backstage at the Opera with Cecilia Bartoli (1998).

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Bartoli, Cecilia

Bartoli, Cecilia (b Rome, 1966). Italian mezzo-soprano. Début Rome, aged 9 (Shepherd Boy in Tosca). Sang in Callas memorial concert 1985. Stage début Verona 1987. Salzburg début 1993; USA 1993 ( Houston). Particularly assoc. with Rossini's music.

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"Bartoli, Cecilia." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Bartoli, Cecilia." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/bartoli-cecilia