January 15, 2014

About Alcina

Read in 'MAG15', magazine of the Opernhaus Zürich, about Alcina.

From Malena's Facebook account:


  1. Thank you! Can someone tell me about it? I can't read German very well.

    1. Hello everybody!

      Although I know it would be perfect to translate the article/interview of Cecilia, I will give you a short summary, what she is talking about. If someone would be willing to translate the whole stuff, that would be great.
      Question: Why Alcina now in your carrier?
      Answer: Now it is the right time - artistically and as being a matured woman. “Alcina” compared to “Cleopatra” is also a strong female character, but she is looking for love or better is falling in love for the first time in her life after endless relationships based on superficial sexual desire with men. Cleopatra wanted political power and therefore she was willing to sacrifice love to get want she wants.

      Q: What is the key to “Alcina”:
      A: Alcina is a mulitlayed woman with passion but also vulnerability. She is the only character in the plot, which has always tender feelings and moments, even when she is full of vengeance It is an interesting emotional journey and therefore a challenge to play and sing. In the end she looses everything: love and her realm. Alcina is not as dark and evil as people always see her: Bradamante is the real "bad ass" ( my wording not Cecilia`s :-). She wants to see Alcina and her kingdom destroyed, which isn´t necessary to do so.

      Q: What function does those “Da-capo-Arias” have?
      A: Because you couldn´t listen to an Aria twice like today on a I-Pod/Phone (choose your gadget, my wording, not Cecilia´s :-)) composers had to give people a chance to listen again to a melody. That means you need to find “new colours” as a singer and different emotional expressions as an actress not to repeat yourself and still catch peoples attention.

      Q: Why do you like to work with conductor Antonini?
      A: He is a great musician, full of passion and devoted 100 % to a project. He likes to work out the details of music and this is what I like.

      Q: Back to “Mission” Händel-versus Steffani?
      A: Händel had his roots in Steffani´s music, because they met in Hannover (again some background facts) and Cecilia (as being Italian) is happy, that a fellow countryman had such an high influence even north of the Alps.

      Q: Why is Händel´s music still interesting to us?
      A: Great conductors like Harnoncourt, Leonhardt and Hogwood did some great pioneer-work and so we explored the music of those baroque composers again. Händel´s music encloses the nature and existence of human beings: the power and the vulnerability, Händel just moves people! (I would say HE ROCKS!! My wording, not Cecilia`s, but I guess we mean the same Thing :-) ) . I am happy to work with Ch. Loy (director), who believes in Händel´s music and tries to work out the psychological details and aspects of the different characters in “Alcina”.

      I know, it is a bit rocky (I am short on time), but I hope you get an idea, what she is talking about.

      Greetings Koile

    2. Thank you very much Koile! Can't wait to see some pictures.

  2. Tanks a lot Koile, nice of you to translate this.

  3. ¿does anyone knows if she will record Alcina on cd?

  4. This is what Malena twittert 2 hours ago: " General rehearsal is done in Zürich! Full house and the swiss went... CRRRAAAZY"
    Seems that People like it :-)

  5. P.S. Malena joked, she wants to buy everyone a cup of coffee who comes to Zürich this weekend for the premiere - so if anyone goes, take the coffee :-) Koile

  6. First videos of Alcina

  7. Promising and thanks for the link!

  8. And first photos of Alcina : http://www.opernhaus.ch/vorstellung/detail/alcina-31-01-2014/#besetzung

  9. Je meurs si je n'ai pas le DVD dans la semaine...

  10. Wow...thanks to all your nice people who has put all this photos and the link to the video. I'm looking forward to read some critiqe about Alcina.

  11. Comment I found on twitter: "Electric silence while Cecilia Bartoli was singing the most beautiful pianissimi!!! "

  12. http://www.mainpost.de/ueberregional/kulturwelt/buehne/art12702,7925152

  13. So here is the next one and a really, really great for Cecilia. I know some people here are not speaking or reading german, so I try to translate the important parts of it to give you a clue. To sum up the critic: Ceclia is a baroque goddess :-)


    Please stay tuned.....

  14. Hello everybody!

    As I promised here is the partial translation of the review. I translated those parts which seems interesting to me and describes best Cecilia`s performance last night of „Alcina“. The text is beautifully written in German and I have to apologize, that I maybe won´t get these “fine nuances and shades” of the author.

    Roll out the red carpet for Cecilia Bartoli! (Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, 27.1.2014, Christian Berzins)

    “In between (of the wonderful stage and costumes) the extremely beloved baroque-Primadonna Cecilia Bartoli. Indeed she (Bartoli) was “in between” and you cannot find out in the end the winner of the applause-contest: France with Julie Fuchs (Morgana) and Italy/Swizzerland with C.Bartoli where head-to-head on Number 1. In the second half of the evening Sweden with Malena Ernman moved up – her “Tiger Aria” and her ballet performance would have given her a gold ticket in every well known casting show. In the end she was Number 3 on the victory rostum. Just a “breeze away of the high C” was from Armenia Varduhi Abrahamyan (Bradamante) she had the ungrateful fourth place in the end.

    The keeper of the opera grail will excuse the sports terminology, but the production of “Alcina” in Zürich shows impressively what Händel is all about: listing to every single note! Out of this music you take sympathy with the lovers, the one who are mourning and suddenly – thunderstruck – the purification of the essence!

    It must have been around 9.p.m., when the audience was completely lost in outer space and no reality would exist any longer, when they (the audience) fell into the long deep breath of Bartoli. “Ahhhhhhhh” went directly into the soul of the listeners. “Mio core” cried Alcina out into the world – a universe full of pain in just one phrase. This Italian opera-hero with the “Bartoli gaze of the 1000 crosses heavily suffering” (Sorry folks, but the sentence: Und dazu die Gestalt dieser italienischen Oper-Heroin, dieser tausend Kreuze tragende Bartoli-Blick” is difficult to translate, but beautiful and so moving).

    Much more impressively: how Cecilia Bartoli`s voice transformed over the years into pureness. The Mezzo isn´t any longer a masked Expressionist; she doesn´t cover emotional affairs any longer with screaming, groaning or whispering - all the states of emotions she couldn´t perform in the past only with her voice. Today Bartoli sings every single note well shaped. She creates from the beginning of the intonation a moving and touching sound.

    When “Alcina” takes the magic wand – is it the “real” opera diva, which couldn´t makes a difference between real life and opera caught in the spell of love? In the end director Ch. Loy sets a monument for Bartoli with a baroque act of “Coup du Theatre”…..

    So go and see it, feel it, breath it and get seduced by these opera Divas, if not now, when?

    Translation by Koile

    1. Thanks a lot Koile, nice of you to translate this. Cecilia is worth every bit of this and It is truly nice to read it...thanks :)

  15. http://www.der-neue-merker.eu/zuerich-alcina-erotische-verwirrspiele-wie-in-mozarts-cosi-fan-tutte-premiere

  16. Here another review from the swiss press. They say Cecilia acted somewhat stiff. In the radio segment on the botoom in swiss-german, the critic (a woman) says cecilia was singing technically very well but her singing was never really moving. Also some comments about the size of the voice (no real forte possible) and an indirect comment about the size of her body. She says the other 3 women in this performance are a younger generation with great acting abilities (perhaps technically not as perfect) and slender bodies that allows them to do dancing etc. while singing and that Cecilia has to watch out for the younger singers.


  17. A Dutch website www.operamagazine.nl has a long review.
    It says that the singing was perfect but a lot of people left after the 2nd act as the staging and costumes had become rather boring for them. Completely different staging in 1st, 2nd and 3rd act.

  18. PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR AND ADD LINKS TO REVIEWS AS A COMMENT IN THE REVIEW SECTION -:). That makes it much easier for me, to add them to the review list. In the end, I will delete the comments and only the links will remain -:). Klaus T.

  19. it was a splendid performance, Cecilia was extraordinary! Malena Ermnan was gorgeous too, Cecilia's si son quella was out of this world, I hope they plan to record this wonder on cd.


If you want to post a link to a review or a video/audio contribution, please also add a comment in the respective section of the forum. Thanks.