“Amazing! That’s All I Can Say.”

10th December 2010

That’s what a 9-year old girl wrote in her diary on Sunday after going to her first ever concert of classical music. And her mother told me afterwards that her daughter had been “quite overwhelmed by the experience”.

You might think from this that I’m going to tell you about another fantastic children’s concert (see the previous news article for such an article). Not a bit of it! There was nothing ‘childish’ about this concert at all! It was a serious concert of baroque music. The concert hall was full of serious looking adults. And the only children I saw were the two I took—my daughter and her friend Elizabeth.

Many people would say this was the last place children would want to go to, and the last place you should take children too. You have to sit still for ages and just listen to music from hundreds of years ago. Children would not want to do this.

Well last Sunday proved all these people wrong! The children I took wanted to go. Elizabeth was so excited at the thought of going to her first concert. And during the concert both children sat completely still and quiet—not because they were afraid of moving a muscle, but because there was so much to watch, and so much to listen to.

So what was this concert? Well, as usual for me, it was a concert in Birmingham Symphony Hall. It featured a small baroque orchestra. But the star of the show was the singer Cecilia Bartoli.

Cecilia Bartoli is simply one of the best singers in the world. I had never seen her sing before the concert on Sunday, and I must say I was “quite overwhelmed by the experience” too! In all the many concerts and operas I have been to, I have never heard or seen anything like it. There is so much emotion in Cecilia Bartoli’s singing, so much expression in the way she moves, so much…

Well I could go on and on. But that’s not the point. The point is that this music completely overwhelmed a child too. This is the full content of what she wrote in her diary on Sunday night:

“Amazing! That’s all I can say. It was just wonderful. Cecilia Bartoli had a beautiful voice and the orchestra was marvellous. I wish it could happen again.”
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All I can say is that it was a privilege to be with her when she was having this amazing experience!


For those of you who want to get some idea of the concert I am talking about and how amazing Cecilia Bartoli is, watch this video. It is a trailer for a DVD of the music we heard on Sunday. Don’t worry if you can’t understand the Italian singing. Just look at how much expression Cecilia Bartoli puts into the music. And look at the beautiful costumes too! She wore each one of these on Sunday as well!

A video trailer for Cecilia Bartoli’s DVD ‘Sacrificium’

Video credits:
  1. Sacrificium: The Art of the Castrati DVD. Sacrificium: The Art of the Castrati, A Cinematographic Vision by Olivier Simonnet, with Cecilia Bartoli, Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini.

    Cecilia Bartoli unveils her latest visual project as she sings virtuoso arias from her Sacrificium album. This beautiful scenic film by Olivier Simonnet as filmed in high-definition widescreen on location in and around the spectacular baroque palace of Caserta in Southern Italy. Arias include Handel’s ‘Ombra mai fu’ and Broschi’s ‘Son qual nave’ – previously only available in the deluxe version of the album. Now available on DVD – For more information go to www.ceciliabartolionline.com.

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1 Susan Davenport-Hill 11th January 2011

I too was profoundly affected by this performance that was quite sublime. Cecilia Bartoli has a range that is simply magnificent. The best musical instrument ever in creation. She is both inspiring and beguiling.

Children everywhere should be treated to this experience for it was a performance of utter delight and perfection, both heart-rendering and beautiful; exotic in tone and quintessentially spell-binding. The way she so effortlessly accomplished even the most widely spun melodies was a pleasure beyond description.

Emotion and expression bled from every part of her as she, the true nightingale, sang exquisitely. One became enraptured and bound up in the tapestry woven by the pureness of the voice and the delicacy of the instruments. Orchestra and singer became entwined and one could, at times, not tell where one finished and the other began, so complete was the union.

This was classical baroque as I had never heard before and just as Elizabeth has expressed, I too “…wish it could happen again.”

I am convinced that all children should be given the opportunity to experience such quality at least ONCE in their lives. I am further convinced that the pure brilliance and joy that a classical baroque concert, as given by Celilia Bartoli, would ignite a love for this art-form that could endure throughout a life time.

Thank you, for the absolute pleasure that I experienced from this opportunity. It has inspired me to seek such pleasure in the future for it was truly breathtaking.

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