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23.9.07

Singers Taking up the Mantle

Available at Amazon:
available at Amazon
Cecilia Bartoli, Maria, Orchestra 'La Scintilla', Adam Fischer
(to be released October 16, 2007)

available at Amazon
Juan Diego Flórez, Arias for Rubini, Orchestra 'La Scintilla', Adam Fischer
(September 10, 2007)
Put me in the favorable column when it comes to Cecilia Bartoli and her last album, Opera Proibita. Perhaps taking a cue from Renée Fleming and her Homage CD (that's a joke -- this has apparently been Bartoli's obsession for over ten years), La Bartoli's new disc, Maria, is dedicated to repertory associated with the first great diva of the 19th century, Maria Malibran, who was born in 1808. Bartoli recently gave a concert in Lucca's Teatro del Giglio, the 400-seat house where La Malibran once sang. The CD is made with autograph scores owned by Malibran and the accompaniment of the La Scintilla Orchestra on period instruments. Jean-Louis Validire has a review of the program, devoted to the content of the CD (Cecilia Bartoli dans la voix d'une légende, September 17), for Le Figaro (my translation):
Cecilia Bartoli has a way of sharing her passions. Basically every two years, she invites us, to our great pleasure, on a new voyage down unknown paths or others we thought we knew but that she illuminates with a new light. After Vivaldi, Gluck, Salieri, whom no one can still be unaware of why he is never performed, today she is bringing La Malibran back to life after, two years ago, revealing the period when opera was forbidden by Vatican authorities.
Not much yet on the exact track list, but a rather unusual rendition of Casta Diva is the last track on this album. Each concert of Bartoli's European tour will be accompanied by a traveling exhibit of Malibran artifacts, mostly from Bartoli's collection, displayed in a bus. The Maria Malibran tour is scheduled for cities around Europe through December, including the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris (December 14 and 16). No word yet on whether she is arranging dates for North America, bus or no bus. Amazon has a promotional video excerpt, including a few excerpts from the CD over footage of Bartoli enthusing about Malibran, visiting Malibran's grave, and so on. An interview with Bartoli on German TV is embedded below.

Bartoli is not alone in this self-association with singers of previous eras. Besides the above-mentioned Fleming Homage and Andreas Scholl's Senesino, Juan Diego Flórez is also bringing out a new CD of arias associated with the early 19th-century tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini.


Cecilia Bartoli interviewed on Crescendo

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Cecilia has surpassed herself with Maria. I liked Proibita, as you might remember; but I am in love with Maria, the way I was in love with her early Mozart and Rossini way back when. She's in magical form.
As for a tracklist, you'll find it at the revamped www.ceciliabartolionline, all done up in white now to match the CD. There's audio there too. The "Casta diva" is unusual, yes; but elsewhere there is much brilliance and beauty sans strangeness.
(And Juan Diego's Rubini recital ain't bad either.)

Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks for the comment and the info. I knew the track list had to be somewhere.