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Cinderella & Company: Backstage at the Opera with Cecilia Bartoli

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A knowing, witty, and deliciously wicked inside look at opera today -- the feuds and deals, maestros and managers, divine voices, and outsized egos.Propelled by her lifelong passion for opera, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Manuela Hoelterhoff takes us on a two-year trip on the circuit with Cecilia Bartoli, the irresistible young mezzo whose popularity has set records i ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published September 14th 1998 by Knopf
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Oct 20, 2009 Kirsti rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kris
Three and a half stars. Gossipy but well written account of the world of opera. I never knew that people could get criticized for doing too much charity work.

I'm sure it was a challenge to write a book about an artist who is very reserved emotionally and keeps her private life private. The author hints that Bartoli suffered from depression, which would not have been surprising considering the difficulties her family had at the time the book was being written.

This book was especially fun for me b
Dec 14, 2008 Allison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, non-fic
Another book given to me by my voice teacher. Since I'm not really an opera buff, I didn't expect to like this book all that much, but was pleasantly surprised when I did. It's focus is on the divas, money makers, and all the large personalities that make up the opera world. It's very well written with lots of gossipy wit and insight. Unlike big stars in film and TV, opera stars have no problem letting everyone know how difficult they are to work with. It's almost a badge of honor to be demandin ...more
May 20, 2016 Shelley rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-bio
More a 2.5. I love Bartoli's goofy earnestness as much as her voice, but this frenetic, disorganized book (about much more than "Cinderella") made her dull. The gossip is good, though.
Apr 12, 2016 Johns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at the busy life of the world's #1 mezzo soprano.
Rebecca Grace
Jan 29, 2008 Rebecca Grace rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
I wish I had not read this. Cecilia Bartoli's chocolatey rich soprano voice is so beautiful, distinctive, and otherworldly, but now when I hear her sing I am assaulted by the image of a large, sloppy, childish woman in sweatpants, an ordinary and vulgar person who happened to win the voicebox lottery. Perhaps Bartoli is a more complex as an artist and as an individual than she is portrayed to be in this book, perhaps not -- but if she really is this dull then no one should have written a book ab ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Ed rated it liked it
Shelves: classical-music
Bartoli's flexible mezzo did not prohibit her from the achieving the fame usually only accorded to the soprano. Written with wit, this is an informative tour of Bartoliat work, as seen in various venues and backstages in the world of opera.
Sep 23, 2010 Georgia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biograhy
I read this twice in quick succession because it was so totally bitchy and hilarious. It's one for opera fans. You've got to know your Gheorghius from your Flemings and your Eaglens from your Voigts to really appreciate it.
Anna Trombetta
May 14, 2015 Anna Trombetta rated it liked it
Interesting look into the world of big international stars. Had hoped that it would provide more insight into how she got started and how she views the world she's in- more commentary from others around her.
Jul 14, 2007 Magid rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Opera queens
This is a silly, frothy yet enjoyable fly-on-the wall look at the high camp world of opera, into which I am trying to break. Wish me luck...
Dec 22, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: hist-bio
Backstage at the Opera truly summarizes the book, with funny sly digs at nearly everyone.
William Herbst
May 27, 2012 William Herbst rated it liked it
An interesting read for those interested in a behind the scenes look at the Met opera
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