Monica Bacelli studied with Maria Vittoria Romano and Donato Martorella and graduated from the Conservatory of Pescara. After winning the Concorso Belli, she made her debut in Spoleto as Cherubino and Dorabella. Since then her career has taken her to major theatres in Italy and throughout the world including La Scala Milan, the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, and San Francisco and to leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Abbado, Bychkov, Chailly, Dudamel, Harding, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Pappano, Rattle and Bolton.
Her wide repertoire includes all the principal Mozart roles for mezzo soprano (Idamante, Cherubino, Elvira, Dorabella and Sesto), Rossini, baroque (Monteverdi, Cavalli, Handel) as well as French operas including Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Werther, Don Quichotte and L’Enfant et les sortilèges.
Monica Bacelli is recognised as a leading interpreter of contemporary music both in concert and on the stage. She has sung many world premieres including the stage monologue Le bel indifferent of Marco Tutino and the title role in Ivan Fedele’s Antigone at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. She was noted for her long collaboration with Luciano Berio who wrote the role of Marina for her in Outis (La Scala Milan) and Orvid in Cronaca del luogo as well as the chamber work Altra voce presented at the Salzburg Festival as part of the Pollini project, and repeated in New York, Tokyo, Paris and Rome. She has also sung Berio’s Folk Songs many times including at La Scala Milan, with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Ensemble Intercontemporain and at the Proms in London.
Her searching interpretative curiosity, her interest in chamber music and her research into unusual vocal repertoire have led her in recent years into a wide variety of projects ranging from early to contemporary music, with a focus on Italian art song of the twentieth century.
Recent and future engagements include La Fortuna and Melanto/Ulisse at La Scala, Ottavia/Poppea at the Palais Garnier Paris, Isolier/Le Comte Ory at Grand Théâtre de Geneve, Il re orso at the Opera Comique in Paris, Pelléas et Mélisande at La Monnaie Brussels and at the 2015 Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Daniele Gatti and Berlioz Les Nuits d’été at Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
Monica Bacelli is the recipient of the Premio Abbiati, a prize awarded by the Italian music critics.