Yesterday, before Cecilia Bartoli’s highly anticipated concert at the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall in St Peterburg tomorrow evening, she gave a press conference alongside Valery Gergiev who will conduct the programme of Mozart and Rossini arias.
Bartoli’s famed avoidance of flying (air-conditioning bad for the voice and jet-lag bad for the body) surprised many:
Well, I’ve just arrived — and in a very peculiar way because I decided to take a ship. And I wanted to see the sea with all the ice… This is something for a Roman. I mean, we never have snow in Rome (well, last winter yes — for the first time in fifty years probably). And then, to come here: the ship crossing and cutting the ice. You know, this is a strong feeling. This is something very, very special.”
The voyage from Lübeck in Germany to St Petersburg took about three days.
Gergiev expressed hope of future collaborations with Bartoli, suggesting the the “Russian” operas of the 18th Century might be an obvious choice. These operas were composed by Italian composers such as Sarti, Cimarosa and Paisiello for a Russian audience.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.