An exclusive Decca artist for 30 years, Cecilia Bartoli has become the most successful artist of a generation. Since her professional debut in Il Barbiere di Siviglia aged only 19 in her hometown of Rome, Rossini has been at the forefront of her illustrious career ever since. Discovered by the legendary Decca recording producer Christopher Raeburn in 1986, Cecilia made her first recording for Decca two years later in Il Barbiere di Siviglia soon followed by her debut recital disc. Under his gentle tutelage and guidance, Cecilia steered a new-wave revival for Rossini’s music with fresh scholarship and authenticity, taking on the metaphorical baton handed to her from the bel canto legends such as Marilyn Horne & Joan Sutherland, becoming the undisputed star of this repertoire that we know and admire today, through her scholarly, intuitive and, above all, fun performances of some of the most challenging works ever written for mezzo.
Since her earliest recordings and performances, Cecilia has brought to Rossini’s incredible music not only an exemplary coloratura technique but also spirit and sassiness to so many of Rossini’s leading roles. Cecilia tackles with acrobatic virtuosity the most challenging of Rossini’s scores created expressly to highlight the almost super-human gifts of those singers who, for more than one reason, we might define as the “supreme virtuosos”, performing them with a combination of skill and passion, transcending the boundaries of the text. The range of works featured in this collection is irrefutable proof of Cecilia’s Rossinian genius. The sheer quantity of his music she has recorded demonstrates her enduring interest in and commitment to the composer.