Cecilia Bartoli’s singing defies comparison. Critics have had to find new metaphors, as their usual vocabulary does not suffice. It has been said that her throat must ‘conceal a nest of nightingales’ and that the only adequate way of describing her is with confessions of love. The Bartoli phenomenon can neither be captured in prosaic words nor in simple facts and statistics, but at least the latter can illustrate how Cecilia Bartoli is able to stir us with her music.
More than ten million of her audio and video recordings have been sold worldwide, making her today’s best-selling classical artist. She has become one of the most well loved singers of her generation without making any attempt at popular marketing strategies. Constantly open to new ideas, she has achieved global success with exquisite projects whose thematic content is meticulously planned. The Vivaldi Album, Italian Arias (by Gluck), The Salieri Album, Opera proibita, Maria, Sacrificium, Mission and St Petersburg have all received numerous awards including five Grammys.
Cecilia Bartoli sings in the most important concert halls in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. The companions in her more recent musical explorations have been leading ensembles specializing in historical performance practice such as the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Arts Florissants, I Barocchisti, Concentus Musicus Wien, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble and La Scintilla in Zurich. She has also worked with many leading symphony orchestras, one such highlight being the programmes she developed and performed with the Vienna Philharmonic.
In 2012 Cecilia Bartoli became artistic director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Her ability to create links between the conceptual and the artistic made this an ideal role for her. Salzburg has also become a central venue for her work as an opera singer, including her stage debut in the role of Norma in 2013, an important milestone in her career. She has also performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala, Milan, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Zurich Opera and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Cecilia Bartoli was born in Rome and began singing lessons with her mother Silvana Bazzoni who remained her only teacher. She has never pursued a special career plan but has been guided solely by her wish to make music. Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti, Herbert von Karajan and Nikolaus Harnoncourt sought to work with her at an early stage in her career and younger conductors such as Giovanni Antonini, Marc Minkowski and Diego Fasolis followed them.
Cecilia Bartoli has received many awards including the Léonnie Sonning Music Prize (2010) and the Herbert von Karajan Prize (2012).
Current as of July 2015