The mezzo Cecilia Bartoli is marking 30 years on the Decca label with the launch of a new sub-label aimed at nurturing the next generation of stars.
In her three decades on Decca, Bartoli has proved herself an artist able to combine the exploration of the obscure with commercial success, with personal projects that have delved into the historical and the musicological, from the music of Agostino Steffani to works written for castrati. None of that, of course, would have worked without the musical brilliance she has also brought to every one of her personal projects.
‘Mentored by Bartoli’, as the new sub-label (produced by the Cecilia Bartoli Music Foundation) will be called, aims to ‘support and oversee new recordings by exceptional artists’, starting with Mexican tenor Javier Camarena and an album entitled ‘Contrabandista’, due for release on October 5. There’s a nice link to Bartoli: the album will explore the life and music of Spanish tenor, composer and impresario Manuel García, who was father of Maria Malibran, the singer whose career Bartoli had explored on her 2007 album ‘Maria’.
‘When I was a very young singer,’ recalled Bartoli, ‘I had the incredible good fortune to be given a recording contract — for my artistic development and for my career this was surely a decisive element. I feel happy and grateful that through my Foundation we are able to provide young artists with the necessary conditions under which they can work on their repertoire, review their interpretation, their technique and put it on record for the future.’
Bartoli made the announcement appropriately enough in Salzburg, the city where she’d signed her first Decca contract in 1988, and where she is Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. She also announced a forthcoming new Vivaldi album, as well as a box set of Rossini recordings, featuring 15 CDs and 6 DVDs from her back catalogue – another nice link, as it was in Rossini’s Barber of Seville that Bartoli made her professional debut aged 19. The Rossini set will be released on September 21.