When Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli started singing Vivaldi in the late '90s it was nothing short of a revelation; however since then considerable advances have been made in the interpretation of this music. Many would argue now that her voice is too inflexible, too 'operatic' for this repertoire, but at the time it caused a sensation I can assure you; one shouldn't forget that at the time she was giving the first performance of many of these arias in more than 250 years! In a celebrated concert given at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris in 2000, with Giovanni Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico, she tackles some of the arias I posted earlier. These clips give some idea of where things stand in 2010 as opposed to 2000.
First Anche il mar par che sommerga from Bajazet, which you saw sung by Patrizia Ciofi in a previous post:-
Next, Domine Deus from the Gloria RV 589:-
Well, perhaps that wasn't the best vehicle for her talents. This however is much better: Siam navi all'onde algenti from L'Olimpiade. The sharp-eyed among you may spot in the audience the writer Philippe Sollers, along with Julia Kristeva and Marcelin Pleynet...and is that Jacques Delors in the front row?:-
And finally, Gelido in ogni vena, from Farnace. Impeccable sense of theatre, an astonishing ability to get right inside the text, and carry her audience with her - Bartoli at her spellbinding best!