Friday, October 27, 2017

Conversation on Facebook

Question I've wanted to ask for a while.
Cecilia Bartoli was such a phenom in the 90's.
The Met clamored to engage her. As I remember it was a new production of le Nozze di Figaro. I remember on the telecast, she insisted on singing an alternative act 4 aria. There was consternation.
So, I'm wondering why The Met has not asked her back? Her choice? -I'm inclining to believe. Met's choice? Was it a falling out because of the aria issue?
I know she is still singing.
I'm sure many of you were around the Met at the time.

As a longtime fan of Cecilia Bartoli, I have often wondered the same thing.

The Met would have hired Cecilia for their own benefit, to reap in ticket sales the bounty from her raging popularity.

Cecilia’s career bloomed early in the United States. She was a client of Columbia Artists Management who benefited from a master of publicity on its staff. She sang in Texas, gave many concerts around the country, and sold large numbers of records. Her brief trio of appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in 1996-98 capped this period. Levine was very possessive, took her to see operas at Bayreuth, and cast her in soubrette roles such as Kathleen Battle might sing. As a coloratura mezzo, she seems to have seen her career differently.

The center of opera was still Europe, and Cecilia is a European. I would guess that she was actively courted by the Zurich Opera, a house that is much closer to Rome where her mother still lives than anything in America, and does not require flying. She also switched her management to Europe. Her fame was now very strong in German speaking Europe, strong enough to support her blossoming career. In Zurich she sang Giulio Cesare, Il Turco in Italia, Le Comte Ory, Clari, and Semele, all operas where she sang the central role and not the soubrette. She also sang Fiordiligi and Donna Elvira, also not soubrette roles. Most of these can be purchased on DVD. None of the Met performances can, indicating the absence of financial agreement. Met on demand provides the only source.

What I’m basically saying is that it was a career decision. The ridiculous fuss over her aria choices in Le Nozze di Figaro probably just pushed it over the edge.

She still concertizes as much as she ever did. She just doesn’t make it to the Unite
d States very often. She just doesn’t need us. Besides, she is management now.


Dasaia said...



Cecilia Bartoli P.9-11

Dr.B said...

I didn't want to get into the gory details. Let's just say I became fond of Zurich.