St. Petersburg, Cecilia Bartoli

Cecilia Bartoli is a world-famous mezzo soprano, who has a beautiful voice and an unique way of singing.
In October a new cd was brought out, and when an Italian singer sings Russian opera I am a happy woman, because that combines two of my loves and passions.

Opera came to Russia in the 18th century. Three emperesses, Anna (1730 -1740) , Elizabeth (1741- 1761) en Catharina II (1762-1796), ruled the country then. Following the example of tsar Peter the Great they wanted to modernize Russia and introduce western fashion at court. Western music was also a part of that.

During the reign of Anna the first Italian opera company came to St. Petersburg and they introduced Russia to opera. First opera was only for special state occasions, but soon it became very popular and there would be opera performances at court on a regular basis.

In the archives of the Mariinsky theater in St. Petersburg Cecilia Bartoli found these almost forgotten works.

On this cd are 11 arias by several composers like Araia, Raupach en Manfredini. Cecilia Bartoli performs the arias with I Barocchisti, with  Diego Fasolis as conductor.

I do not have a lot of musical knowledge, so do not expect a profound analysis of her voice or the performance, I leave that to the experts.
I can tell you I absolutely love this cd. I love music from the baroque period and a little bit later, and this music falls into that period of time.

Cecilia Bartoli has a rich and supple voice that is never shrill or hard. She can take her voice anywhere she wants to, she completely masters every aspect of it. The arias, even two sung in Russian, become more and more beautiful the more I listen to them.