When: Sun., Feb. 22, 3 p.m. 2009
This is one of those beg, borrow, or whatever events. Having attended every one of mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's Cal Performances recitals since she first appeared here at age 24, I'm convinced that this should be one of the artistic highlights of the season. Beyond the sheer beauty of the voice, the phenomenal range, the huge compass of emotional expression, and the mesmerizing technique, Bartoli's joy at being able to express everything in her heart propels listeners into ecstasy. She'll be singing the same impossibly difficult repertoire of her 19th-century predecessor, Maria Malibran, that earned multiple awards for her latest solo recording, Maria. Accompanied by pianist Sergio Ciomei, Bartoli promises to evoke at least as many superlatives as she has in the past. At Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way and Telegraph Ave., UC Berkeley) on Sunday, Feb. 22. 3 p.m., $50-$250. CalPerformances.org or 510-642-9988.
Jason Victor Serinus