15 Oct 2005

Cecilia Bartoli's Alarming Passions


bartoli_small_2.jpgBy ANNE MIDGETTE [NY Times, 16 October 2005]

THERE are few truly distinctive voices on the opera scene today, voices you recognize after merely a few notes. Luciano Pavarotti was one. Cecilia Bartoli is another.

This is not a qualitative judgment. But it does help explain the Bartoli phenomenon: why a mezzo-soprano of average vocal means and, at best, unusual technique, singing little-known repertory of the Baroque era, has become a greater icon than most other classical stars.