Following on from the concert dedicated to Maria Malibran, the prima donna assoluta of the 19th century and „Händel and Italy” Cecilia Bartoli brings a new programme to the Palace of Arts. One of today's top singers, Bartoli will use the extraordinary character and versatility of her voice to explore the personal tragedy of castrated singers. At the cusp of the Baroque and Classicist eras, some 4,000 boys had their manhood removed to allow them to pursue a career as castrati. Of these, the names of 100 remain today, but only the likes of Farinelli and Senesino were able to hone their singing talent to perfection and achieve widespread acclaim. Great composers were astonished by their singing range, monarchs vied for their favour and thousands worshipped them as stars of the day. Those wonderful pieces of music usually sung by countertenors today could only have been created thanks to the sacrifice of these young men. Cecilia Bartoli pays tribute to this quirk of music history in this evening's concert programme entitled Sacrificium, which appeared on both CD and DVD in 2009. There is unlikely to be another artist in the world today able to put together a programme like this. A performance of these fiendishly difficult opera excerpts from the likes of Porpora, Araia, Caldara, Leonardo Leo, Leonardo da Vinci and Graun is a breathtaking feat – often literally. On more than one occasion, Bartoli will be required to sing several dozen notes in a matter of a few seconds, a level of virtuosity only the greatest artists can achieve. Presented by: Palace of Arts
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