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Cecilia Bartoli is one of the major operatic performers of the 21st century.  The soprano is already the director of Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco, and will soon take the helm of the Monte-Carlo Opera.

Born in Rome in 1966, Cecilia Bartoli was immersed in the world of opera from an early age, thanks to her parents, who were both singers.  The mezzo-soprano trained at the Saint Cecilia Music Conservatory in Rome and rose to fame very early on with her virtuoso vocal technique, musicality and stage presence.

The Monte-Carlo Opera is a little like my home
 Read Cecilia Bartoli's interview

At the age of 20, she shone in the role of Rosina in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” before embarking on Mozart’s great operas and working with the conductors Herbert von Karajan and Daniel Barenboim.

Bartoli, who is also a flamenco enthusiast, then devoted herself to 19th-century music, romanticism and Italian bel canto.  Her extensive discography features more than thirty recordings, including tributes to castrati such as Farinelli.

© DR
© Les Musiciens du Prince - Monaco

For several years, Cecilia Bartoli has been involved in projects with period-instrument orchestras.  This is how the ensemble Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco arose;  it was created in 2016 at the Monte-Carlo Opera.

As a performer and artistic director, Cecilia Bartoli has brought together the best international players of period instruments to form an orchestra that revives the tradition of music from princely, royal and imperial courts throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Cecilia Bartoli and Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco tour the greatest concert halls in Europe, performing rare works from the Baroque period (by Handel and Vivaldi in particular).

The soprano, who is already very involved in the Principality, has been appointed to succeed Jean-Louis Grinda in 2023.

“Cecilia Bartoli will thus become the first woman to conduct the Monte-Carlo Opera”, recalled H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover, President of the Board of Directors.


The Monte-Carlo Opera is a little like my home

In 2023, Cecilia Bartoli will take the reins of the Monte-Carlo Opera, and the Italian mezzo-soprano is already working on the programmes she plans to present...

What does the Monte-Carlo Opera mean to you? What are your favourite memories of it?

The Monte-Carlo Opera is already a little like my “home”: I made my debut here in 1989, more than 30 years ago! I’ve since returned regularly, and in 2016 Jean-Louis Grinda and I created the Musiciens du Prince – Monaco orchestra. On 1 January 2023, I will take over from Mr Grinda and assume leadership of the Opera. Every time I come back to Monte-Carlo I feel great joy and a huge responsibility. I’m already working hard on preparations for the first seasons that I will present as Director.

What does Monaco’s association with opera mean to you?

The Monte-Carlo Opera is a legendary – and prestigious – institution.

Ever since the Salle Garnier was built, Monte-Carlo has been the birthplace of numerous works and has hosted some of the great composers of the past: I’m thinking of Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Ravel…

And all of the biggest opera stars performed regularly in Monaco, a tradition that continues to this day! We could mention Nellie Melba, Toti dal Monte, Conchita Supervia, Enrico Caruso, Feodor Chaliapin, Beniamino Gigli and so many others…

You will be the first woman to lead this opera company: what needs to be done to get more women into positions of authority in the opera world?

During my career as an opera singer, I had the privilege of meeting and collaborating on stage with the greatest artists. I really enjoyed and learned from these artistic exchanges at the highest level, and they gave me a valuable foundation when, in 2012, I was appointed Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. The programmes we presented at that festival always received a very warm welcome from audiences and the press. It is this enthusiasm and determination to constantly seek out excellence and exclusive performances that I will bring to my work in Monaco. It’s true that I’m the first woman to take on this role and for me, what matters above all is doing a good job and my passion for music!

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