[Cecilia Bartoli as La Bartoli and as Agostino Steffani, album art for “Mission”. – Photo Credit: Decca]
Fine, so the papal election didn’t take a turn for the mezzoish, but ladies and occasional gent, there’s a pilgrimage coming up in late January and February 2014, and it’s not to Rome, but to Zurich:
Yes, it seems that The House God of White Shirt Staging, Christof Loy, will once more tackle Handel’s “Alcina” in all its triple mezzo glory. And do we ever fondly remember Antigone Papoulkas in a ribbed olive tank and Maite Beaumont in a waistcoat, and for the Munich revival, Vesselina Kasarova in camouflage and Anja Harteros and is it January yet?!
In this case, Cecilia Bartoli is slated to follow Joyce DiDonato’s recent Alcina-sung-by-a-mezzo trend and will star as the sorcoress herself (we don’t complain about white-shirt proven Agneta Eichenholz taking over the end of the run, either), flanked by Varduhi Abrahamyan as Bradamante (recheck the Boarding School “Rinaldo” for a good look and listen of her!) and none other than Malena Ernman as Ruggiero having the ladies line up for her (she might be used to it by now).
Let there be tank tops and white shirts, as there clearly is a God who listens to my dreams.
And now excuse me while I faint a little in joyous anticipation.