I still remember that day like it was yesterday. It was the 17th May 2011. On my way home to Norway from an operatic oval weekend in Berlin I had a one night stopover in Stockholm. Just to see the great Italian star mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli in concert.
This Cecilia Bartoli concert at Stockholm Concert hall would become an evening I will never forget. The program was taken from her album of castrato arias Sacrificium from 2009 which she toured with in 2009 – 2013.
From the very start of the concert everybody there was sure it would be a great evening. Bartoli entered the stage in a flamboyant costume, like a star castrato, and she sang divine! And she continued to sing divine, aria by aria!
Half way into the first half of the concert I remember thinking: “This is so good! And she’s not even half way into her official program yet! I don’t want to die, but if I die tomorrow it will be all right!” I was in heaven! And heaven was indeed here on earth!
I was so lucky that I sat on the first row in the concert hall and therefore I was no more than five metres away from Bartoli at any time!
After the break this wonderful concert continued. And Bartoli returned wearing a different costume! The audience started to become more and more ecstatic. We went crazy! After the official program was over there were at least 20 minutes applause and she was called back and sang about six encores! It was a fantastic concert!
One of the arias that Bartoli sang at this very concert was “Son qual nave” from Artaserse by Broschi. The video below is from a Bartoli concert at the Barbican in London. You could understand why we all went crazy listening to this wonderful artist!
When the concert was finally over Bartoli greeted us fans that hang around the stage. As she walked out for the last time I managed to take her hand and I said to her “Io ti amo!” (“I love you!” in Italian). Bartoli smiled back to me and said “Grazie!” (“Thank You!”). This must have put me in some sort of trance because all I managed to say in return was “Ciao!” (“Goodbye!”). Silly me! 😉
When walking back to my hotel I was in a state of blissful trance. Indeed a concert to remember for a lifetime. And if you’re wondering: Yes, this is of course a story I tell people all the time! 🙂
So that’s it. The story about that day in history when Odd Pavarotti met Cecilia Bartoli. A day to remember for a lifetime!
For those who want to experience more of Cecilia Bartoli singing castrato arias there’s also a wonderful DVD out, also with the name of Sacrificium. The video below is “Son qual nave” from that DVD. Because Bartoli is so good when she sings it in a flamboyant star castrato like costume!
The great Cecilia Bartoli also met the great Luciano Pavarotti. They recorded three operatic duets together and Bartoli had a minor role on one of Pavarotti’s opera recordings. All about Pavarotti and Bartoli in another blog post!
This post was originally published 17-09-2013. Last revision 17-09-2013.