Cecilia Bartoli has just unrolled plans for the 2019 Salzburg Whitsun Festival, titled voci celesti.
She says: ‘It is no coincidence that I can realize the idea now, when discussions about the abuse of the bodily integrity of artists have become so topical. In the name of art, thousands of boys were mutilated – a terrible tradition which was kept alive for centuries and only rarely questioned. Given this background, I wondered whether the great artistic accomplishments of this era should be celebrated at all by performing these pieces of music? To me, the answer is obvious: yes, absolutely. However, their art must be illuminated from other perspectives too, and the highly problematic context discussed.’
The two operas she will present are Handel’s Alcina and Nicola Porpora’s Polifermo.