Sadly I couldn't be there to witness Cecilia Bartoli's triumph at the Barbican last night, but Kyoko's curtain call video shows how London rocked to the sound of Steffani.
Can someone explain to me why Ms. B does not tour here in the States? At least a New York appearance now and again would be nice.
16 November 2012 at 02:52 PM
And triumph it was....despite a cold and an interruption in the very first piece for a cough, she charmed the audience with her usual hugely individualistic and meticulously prepared programme, and finished with laschia from Rinaldo...perfect.
16 November 2012 at 04:09 PM
Apparently she suffers from a terrible fear of flying, so it would require her to travel by boat. When she used to tour in America, she would travel by car cross-country to avoid having to take a plane. Poor woman.
16 November 2012 at 05:36 PM
There was a time when I thought CB was just going to be another record company pretty girl who burns brightly for 5 years and then fades when younger models come along. Her metronomic occasionally machine-gun-like delivery can be somewhat of an acquired taste, but I eat my words, because as time goes-on, she seems to have turned more and more to
improved technique and sincere artistic intention. She seems - at least in my eyes - to have deepened and moved to a more long-lasting legacy. Interesting in an age of short lived celebrity and immediate incentive.
16 November 2012 at 07:47 PM
Not quite. She sang the aria in its first version, "Lascia la spina", from "Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno".
The first encore was "M'adora l'idol mio", Agilea's curtain aria at the end of Act I of "Teseo".
Actually, I thought it was rather unwise to follow 85' of Steffani's middling music with just 7' of Handel that made it painfully clear why Handel is remembered and Steffani isn't.
I could have done without the tambourine-rattling entrance and general gung-ho mania which made much of the first half resemble a temperance meeting hosted by the Girl Guides: but, though the gattling-gun coloratura is getting progressively quieter and quieter and the voice (even) smaller, I thought the actual singing of the slower pieces was most exquisitely wrought. And at least she didn't come on bald, dressed as van Helsing wielding his crucifix as I'd half-feared, thank God..
17 November 2012 at 03:09 AM
I stand corrected - thank you!
17 November 2012 at 10:13 AM
Agree with sjt's comments about Steffani/Händel, but then again, I can't think of any other singer who can come on with a stonking cold and deliver 85' of plodding Steffani so engagingly that the house demands two encores. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and there weren't many dry eyes in the hall by the time "Lascia la spina" finished.
On a different note, she has clearly struck gold with the Kammerorchester Basel. They look and sound like they were meant for each other.
20 November 2012 at 10:05 AM
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daddy I want a harpsichord