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Title - 'St. Petersburg (Deluxe Edition)'
Artist - Cecilia Bartoli

For those not in the know, Cecilia Bartoli is an Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. She is best known for her interpretations of the music of Mozart and Rossini, as well as for her performances of lesser-known Baroque and classical music. She is also known for having the versatility to sing soprano and mezzo roles.

For more than two decades, Cecilia Bartoli has indisputably been one of the leading artists in the field of classical music. Her new opera roles, concert programmes and recording projects exclusively on Decca are eagerly awaited all over the world - and rightly so, of course.

And so, the best-selling mezzo-soprano, Cecilia Bartoli looks to the little-known operas of 18th-century Russia on her stunning, simply stunning new CD, St. Petersburg.

These Baroque musical treasures were written by Italian and German composers working for the Russian court: specifically, Francesco Araia (at the court 173559), Hermann Friedrich Raupach (175961), Vincenzo Manfredini (176163), and Domenico Cimarosa (178791).

The essence is this: Bartoli is brilliant, singing with wonderful technique, exceptional beauty of tone and true engagement with the text and music, and the disc is worth getting for this alone. Nevermind that this is the Deluxe Special Edition of St. Petersburg and so includes a stunning color booklet inside.

Bartoli approaches this material with a respect and genuine emotionality that leaves you totally flabbergasted. It did me. St. Petersburg also offers us the first opportunity to hear Bartoli sing in Russian! Usually devoted to her native Italian, her Russian is (to my ears) flawless; and, as always, ever so beautiful to behold.