It is probably one of the most impressive journeys of modern day opera. With her timing, location and of course the music she creates, Cecilia Bartoli regularly takes her audience on amazing and unexpected journeys. The latest voyage proposed by the brilliant Italian mezzo-soprano takes place in Saint-Petersburg. Bartoli transports us back to the 18th century, when three powerful Tsarinas helped breath life back into the almost non-existent musical culture of Russia by inviting several Italian and German composers to the St Petersburg court. The first composer was Francesco Araia, swiftly followed by Manfredini and Cimarosa... The repertoire of the aptly named album St. Petersburg, which is released with Decca music label, follows the original themes cherished by Bartoli herself, including the hidden treasures of these European immigrants as well as other forgotten works from composers like Hermann Freidrich Raupach. Whilst skimming through the archives of the Mariinsky Theatre, where these beautiful partitions reside today, the singer compiled a remarkable collection of operatic works, the majority of which were hitherto unseen. This wonderful exploration led by the 'Indiana Jones' of the opera uncovers what can only be labelled as... Russian Baroque? Cecilia Bartoli goes back to the roots of this project, learning the first steps of Tolstoy’s language along the way.
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