more extracts from the article:
"I love the baroque period," she says. "It's not just the music; I like baroque painting, baroque architecture. I like the structure of baroque music - it gives you a lot of freedom of interpretation. It's very rhythmic and you have this contrast between rhythm and simple melodies. Two years ago, I did [Handel's] Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with Marc Minkowski in Zurich, and I was fascinated and overwhelmed by its beauty." Working with her pet musicologist (and former boyfriend) Claudio Osele, she found out more about the period in which the oratorio was written and the tensions of early 18th-century Rome. Forbidden Opera is the result of their labours.
Bartoli likes to initiate her own projects, but how do Decca feel about her more unusual choices? "When I suggested a Vivaldi disc [in the late 90s], it was difficult to convince them to do it. But it was enormously successful and I proved that there was an audience ready to discover it. I like to present a project which has both a commercial and a cultural element. I try to combine them.... I have to bring people to this baroque project. This is the goal. "
I listen to quite a bit of 18th century music. Among vocalists, I like the countertenors, David Daniels, Andreas Scholl, and Paul Esswood. I lose track of the sopranos & mezzos. I think my favorites are Bartoli, Elly Ameling, and Edith Baker. I've lately discovered the alto/contralto Sara Mingardo:
Arias, madrigals, & cantatas by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Handel, Carissimi, Cavalli, Legrenzi, Merula, & Salvatore; Sara Mingardo (alto); Monica Bacelli (mezzo-soprano, in "Vorrei baciarti"); Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini; Naïve- OP 30395(CD) reviewed here.