Bartoli fans battled their way to Renzo Piano's glorious Auditorium Parco della Musica through security cordons, with police helicopters circling overhead. These precautions were not for the Roman diva's presence, but for the football ‘derby' at the Olympic Stadium next door where the two local teams, Lazio and Roma, were playing.
The atmosphere in Sala Santa Cecilia was very different to that among the tifosi who were merrily stabbing each other a few hundred metres away. A crowd of local fans, with many French, German and Austrian Ceci-lovers too, along with Italian celebs (a Bartoli concert is a rare event in Italy!), and Cecilia's mum and teacher, Silvana Bazzoni, with her brood of friends, gave the large auditorium, with its 2,700 seats, a friendly, family atmosphere. Cecilia Bartoli was cheered and adored, all so different from the co-ordinated attack on her at La Scala in Milan last December. The applause was deserved; she is in outstanding form.
Bartoli loved it – and so did we.
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.