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The Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli (born 4 June 1966) is a popular opera singer and recitalist. She is best-known for her Mozart and Rossini roles as well as for her performances of lesser-known Baroque music. Bartoli is considered a lyric and dramatic coloratura, with perhaps less of a “large voice” than some other mezzos, but with a highly individual timbre which she uses to great vocal and dramatic effect. She is one of the most popular (and one of the top-selling) opera singers of recent years. Bartoli is much liked by the concert-going public for her lively, vivacious onstage persona, while her lyric voice and investigations of other Baroque-era music have given her considerable recognition even among the non-opera-going public.
Bartoli was born in Rome. Her parents were both professional singers and gave her her first music lessons. Her first public performance was at age nine as a shepherd boy in Tosca. Bartoli later studied, appropriately enough, at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia.
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