|Born in Rome, Cecilia Bartoli received her voice training at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in her native city, while at the same time being taught and coached by her parents, Silvana Bazzoni and Angelo Bartoli, both professional singers.|
Bartolis early career included collaborations with Herbert von Karajan, Daniel Barenboim and Nikolaus Harnoncourt: she studied Bachs Mass in B minor with Karajan, Mozarts Da Ponte cycle with Barenboim, and appeared on stage for the first time in a Mozart role as Cherubino under Harnoncourt in Zurich in 1988. Popular operas by Mozart and Rossini formed the basis of Bartolis repertory at the start of her career and gradually she has introduced audiences to rarer works by Rossini, Paisiello, Handel and Haydn.
Throughout her career Cecilia Bartoli has worked with many acclaimed conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, William Christie, Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Adam Fischer, Christopher Hogwood, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Marc Minkowski, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Sir Georg Solti, and Franz Welser-Möst amongst others.
The highlights of Cecilia Bartolis opera career to date include performances as Cherubino (Zurich Opera House/Ponnelle/Harnoncourt), Zerlina (La Scala di Milano/Strehler/Muti; Salzburg Festival/Chéreau/Barenboim), Dorabella (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Miller/Mehta), Susanna, Donna Elvira and Fiordiligi (Zurich Opera House/Flimm/Harnoncourt), Cenerentola (Metropolitan Opera/Levine; Zurich Opera House/Lievi/Fischer), Susanna (Metropolitan Opera/Miller/Levine), Despina (Metropolitan Opera/Curning/Levine; Theater an der Wien/De Simone/Muti), Euridice in Haydns Lanima del filosofo (Theater an der Wien/Flimm/Harnoncourt; Zurich Opera House/Flimm/Fischer; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Flimm/Hogwood), Paisiellos Nina (Zurich Opera House/Lievi/Fischer), Il turco in Italia (Zurich Opera House/Lievi/Welser-Möst; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Leiser & Caurier/Fischer), Il trionfo del tempo et del disinganno (Zurich Opera House/Flimm/Minkowski) and Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Zurich Opera House/Lievi/Minkowski).
Cecilia Bartolis performances in concert and in recital are an equally important part of her performance schedule and she has appeared in most of the important venues throughout the world. Her repertory ranges from arias by composers both well-known and little-known of the Baroque period, through Romantic Lieder, and songs and arias by Bizet, Viardot, Berlioz and Ravel. In her recital programmes she has been accompanied by leading pianists such as Daniel Barenboim, Myung-Whun Chung, James Levine, András Schiff and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Her ongoing exploration and performance of Baroque music has resulted in collaboration with such important ensembles specialising in period performance as Concentus musicus Wien, Il Giardino Armonico, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, The Academy of Ancient Music, Les Arts Florissants, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Freiburger Barockorchester, Le Musiche Nove, and Les Musiciens du Louvre.
Cecilia Bartolis discography comprises more then ten complete opera recordings and numerous solo CDs. With the release of the Vivaldi Album in the autumn of 1999 Bartoli enjoyed astounding success and succeeded in awakening a new interest on an international level in the hitherto largely unknown operas by the composer and this was followed by the release of the Gluck Album. The Gluck Album featured arias from the composers Italian operas and won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance in 2001.
In 2002 Cecilia Bartoli renewed her exclusive contract with the Decca Music Group and autumn 2003 saw the release of the first important project under this new contract. This was the internationally-acclaimed Salieri Album. Featuring Italian arias by Salieri, Bartoli is accompanied by The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Adam Fischer. Cecilia Bartolis most recent project for Decca is another fascinating voyage of discovery: Opera proibita. This new project with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski presents a programme of music by composers working in Rome in the early years of the eighteenth century at a time when opera was prohibited and composers turned their attention to oratorio. The album features music by Handel, Caldara and Alessandro Scarlatti and it entered the European pop charts just weeks after its release. Forthcoming concerts in Cecilia Bartolis schedule will be devoted to presentations of the Opera proibita repertory in many important venues.
Currently available on DVD are A Portrait (directed by David Thomas), Cecilia Bartolis concert with Bryn Terfel filmed at the Glyndebourne Opera House in 1999, the Jürgen Flimm productions of Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni with Nikolaus Harnoncourt from the Zurich Opera in 2000, a Vivaldi concert recorded in public with Il Giardino Armonico, La Cenerentola from the Houston Opera, Live in Italy with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and also from Zurich Paisiellos Nina and Rossini's Il Turco in Italia.
Cecilia Bartolis recordings have sold several million copies and have appeared for many weeks on the top-seller lists. Her numerous awards include four Grammy Awards for her solo albums, the Bambi Award, two Classical Brit Awards, the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and the Japanese Record Academy Award. Amongst others, she has been endowed with the Italian Knighthood and in France she has been made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In June 2005 Cecilia Bartoli was made Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.