Cecilia Bartoli


Sparkling Versailles launch for album of eleven world premiere recordings

Bartoli - Versaille

Best-selling mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli honours three great Russian empresses with her latest Decca release, celebrating the little-known flowering of opera in 18th-century St Petersburg under the enlightened rule of three exceptional women who looked to Europe to enrich the cultural life of their country. Cecilia Bartoli – St Petersburg is a thrilling collection of eleven world premiere recordings that not only celebrates three great Russian rulers, Anna, Elizabeth and Catherine the Great, but also turns the spotlight on their court composers.

The release was launched for international media and selected guests on Monday, October 6 in an event with presenting sponsor the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation, amid the glittering splendour of the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles in France, where Bartoli enthused about the music written by Italian and German composers working for the Russian court. She said that the album “sheds new light on an incredible and momentous time for Russia, shaping its politics and culture towards the enlightened West. It has been a great joy to unearth these treasures and bring them back to life.”

Welcoming the new album, Decca Classics Managing Director Paul Moseley said: “These treasures of the Mariinsky have been hidden for too long. They are mostly in Italian but also give us our first opportunity to hear Cecilia sing in Russian. She really captures the spirit of this superb music, which she has intricately researched herself, unlocking the archives of St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Library to uncover music lost for over 200 years.”

St Petersburg exemplifies once again the invaluable contribution Cecilia Bartoli makes to the classical music world,” said Max Hole, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UMG International. “Not only has she single-handedly discovered and researched this repertoire, but she has taken these musical jewels and polished each facet to brilliance – with her passion, her musical talent and an acute understanding of their historical and cultural value.”

Bartoli - Versaille

Bartoli is reunited with I Barocchisti under Diego Fasolis for the album and the same team will be touring repertoire from the album extensively during October and November, in cooperation with U-Live – visiting Berlin, Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris, Mannheim, Brussels, Baden-Baden, Essen, Hamburg, Regensburg, Prague, Munich and Vienna.

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Video Features about St Petersburg:

VRT (Belgium, interview starts at 28:10 min)
L´express (France)
MSN (France)
RAI (Italy)

(Photos: © Xavier Paris / Decca Classics )

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