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