Monte-Carlo Opera has announced that Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli will become the first female Director of the Company when she succeeds Jean-Louis Grinda in 2023

Roman-born Ms Bartoli is acknowledged as the most successful classical artist of our times – with the sale of over 12 million video and audio products in her career to date. She made her debut as Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in her home city in 1987, and since then her spectacular career has taken her to concert halls and opera houses the world over, working with some of the world’s most illustrious conductors, and appearing in venues such as the Salzburg Festival, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Zurich Opera House. the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie de Paris, Vienna’s Musikverein, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, to name but a few.

Among the many honours which Cecilia Bartoli has won are five Grammys, more than a dozen Echos and Brit Awards, the Polar Music Prize, the Léonie-Sonning-Music Prize, and the Herbert von Karajan Prize.

In 1999, Cecilia Bartoli launched the Vivaldi-Album – the first of her concept albums – in which she explores and sheds new light on a range of topics from the baroque and belcanto eras. This was followed in successive years by Opera proibita, Maria, Sacrificium, Mission and St Petersburg, and last year she released the latest album in the series, Farinelli.

Cecilia Bartoli has served as artistic director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival since 2012, where her contract was recently extended until 2026, and where in 2020 the Festival’s programme will revolve around a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in which she will star.

Since 2016, Ms Bartoli has worked with Les Musicians du Prince Monaco – an orchestra which she created with Jean-Louis Grinda, and which was granted the patronage of the princely family of Monaco. “In no time,” she says, “this orchestra has performed more than 70 concerts, recordings and opera performances throughout Europe. The public and international critics have given it a unanimous welcome, naming it as one of ‘the best instrumental ensembles of the time’.”

In 2018, the Cecilia Bartoli Music Foundation created a new record label, Mentored by Bartoli, a project which aims to bring classical music to a wider audience, collaborating with talented young musicians. The inaugural release on this label was Contrabandista, the first solo album of Mexican tenor Javier Camarena.

Ms Bartoli says: “Taking over the direction of the Opera de Monte-Carlo is a new step in my career, but it is also the realization of a dream. […] I am overflowing with ideas and it is with immense joy that I will put my creativity and passion for music at the service of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo!”


another grey line

Lead image by Erinc Salor – Personal archive of Erinc Salor, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link; edited (cropped)

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