April 14, 2003
Cecilia Bartoli, opera's best known mezzo-soprano, and one who is known for making (too) few world-wide concert appearances, will perform a series of recitals on a cruise ship this summer. What makes Bartoli's stints -- appearances onboard Silversea's Silver Shadow -- an anomaly isn't just that one of music's superstars is performing on a cruise ship -- the days when the world's hottest performers entertained as they sailed the seas has long been replaced by more anonymous fare -- but that her presence will stretch beyond a performance. Bartoli first hooked up with Silversea last year. The diva hates to fly, according to a source there, and thought a Silversea transatlantic repositioning (from Europe to the U.S.) was a neat way to make the trip. During that sailing, she hosted cocktail parties, posed for photo opportunities, dined with passengers, mingled with guests, participated in impromptu encounters and, oh yeah, gave a concert onboard. This year's arrangement's a little different. Ms. Bartoli will make special appearances in June and July on four voyages in the Mediterranean and Black Sea; three are "recital" cruises, where she'll perform in Silver Shadow's intimate 382-seat theater while the last is a q&a (she's resting her voice). On the three recital voyages Bartoli will be accompanied by renowned Swiss baritone Oliver Widmer.