While Decca keep us guessing at the content of Mission, Cecilia Bartoli's new album, their press release gives out a lot of information already:
Autumn 2012 marks the release of Mission, a sensational new album from the world's best-selling classical artist, Cecilia Bartoli, and a project with international politics, religious conflict, diplomatic secrecy, spying and sensational music at its heart.
The album showcases the music of a little-known Italian composer and will include solo arias of various moods and styles, several duets, solo numbers with chorus – all sung in Italian – and instrumental interludes that create an organic transition from one piece to the next and an arc that reaches from the beginning to the end of the album.
Such was the appeal of the project that longtime Bartoli admirer and global best-selling author Donna Leon decided to write a mystery novel – Jewels of Paradise – to accompany Cecilia's album, which uses the mystery surrounding the composer's story as the centre of its plot. Jewels of Paradise will be released simultaneously with Cecilia Bartoli's album in English (UK and USA), German, French, Dutch, Spanish and Catalan.
Among the distinguished names appearing on Mission is star French counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky who features in a first-time collaboration with Cecilia on a selection of duets, alongside the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, the period orchestra I Barocchisti from Lugano, Switzerland, and conductor Diego Fasolis.
A cinematographic vision of the album directed by Olivier Simonnet and filmed in the historic Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) and in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles will be available on DVD later in the year.
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.