Opera's patron saint of rogues, Cecilia Bartoli, remind us that rules don't really exist. The Italian mezzo is all about transformation -- although with coffer-busting record deals, she's got the funds and clout (and five Grammys under her belt) to pick and choose. She spoke in today's La Repubblica and shared details about what's going down in the first half of 2012. And as with all things Ceci, it's awesome.
"I honor the assignment. Up until now it's been touched by great maestri like Karajan, Solti and Muti. To ask the advice from me is a trial of renovating the festival, and I had decided to focus more on the figure of Cleopatra."
And why Cleopatra?
"For her inexhaustible charm, and her ability to stimulate art and painters, composers, and playwrights. She had an aggressive temperament, was enthralling and had a tough core of Egyptian femininity. There's a Cleopatra-esque spirit of modern Egyptian women and not because the first catalyst of the recent revolution was a woman."
La Ceci makes a role debut at Zurich Opera House premiere on February 10 as Desdemona in Rossini's Otello ossia il Moro di Venezia, but she'd rather be singing the headline.
So is it true that she dreams about singing Otello?
"I'd love it so much! But I'd have to be reborn as a guy. More than Otello, tho, I'd love to play Don Giovanni, a marvelous Mozart role. Don't you think there's a little Don Giovanni in all of us? I'm a Gemini and I feel in me the "gemello" side of the "gemella".
Ceci wears the pants. We just iron them for her. We rarely see her in Italy, but she has a concert in Rome on Aril 5 to sing arias from her Sacrificium CD. Will she come back to Italy after that?
"Italy, Italy. To live there is difficult, but to live without it is impossible. I come back in vacation, there are my friends, my family. But how's it possible to work in the Italian opera houses when they such small amounts of money and they're always late programming their seasons? Regardless, Barenboim got in touch with me about La Scala and maybe ill sing in the 2013-14 season. I really hope so!"