Monday, July 25, 2005

For Sarah

It’s been eleven years. I went quite mad over Cecilia Bartoli over the course of the hour it took to watch her early publicity video filmed in Venice.

I went to the library and looked up everything I could find about her. I read the New York Times on microfiche in the Berkeley city library. I still have the pictures I took from it for 10 cents apiece. I became addicted to Arie Antiche until I started to be annoyed by the fact that I always knew what came next. My cd player would play them in random order. Wonderful! There was an awesome freshness to her interpretations that I simply could not resist.

I started traveling to Italy and studying Italian art. I went on the Piero della Francesca Trail and looked into buying an apartment in Rome.

Then I found out from watching the live Cecilia how completely non-traditional her technique was. As the years have passed, she has changed and I have become more accustomed to how she sings, but at the time….

Madness took over. I started writing to her. Obsessively. I still do, actually, about twice a week, but I stopped mailing them some years ago. I mailed one a couple of years ago after I had been to a psychic. This psychic is excellent if you ever want her email address. She said there was no hostility.

I am Cecilia’s stalker, I suppose. I see myself as a much too conservative old nerd, but nevertheless, she sees me coming and arranges something. Her eyes flash and her back straightens. She and I are about the same size, but she always seems much taller. No one believes this.

Lately I have decided that perhaps I should try harder to actually say something instead of standing there looking like a fool. So I said “you are my favorite.” Flash! Great. That’s the best I could come up with. I know from reading the forum that other people think of questions to ask her. Not me.

Right now I am regretting that I didn’t go to London to see Turco. Maybe there will be a video.


Anonymous said...

Eleven years. Now that's funny, because it's been eleven years for me too and I fell for her in the same way - that documentary. Of course I was only nine years old so I was dependent on mio babbino caro (also in love with her) for recordings - and here at the bottom of the world, recordings are all we had to live on. Nothing live. And in the years between 9 and 18 of course I strayed into other musical worlds. But when I came back to opera my first true obsession was Cecilia, she who I had always called my favourite even when I barely listened to her more than a few times a year. I can barely remember life before Cecilia and certainly can't imagine life without her.

Dr.B said...

I read an interview where the interviewee was asked "who is your hero?" and he answered, "Cecilia Bartoli." She's my hero, too.

Dr.B said...

I realize this means that I am mad.