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Cecilia Bartoli talks, again, of US return

This photo provided by Salzburg Festival shows Cecilia Bartoli from the 2019 Salzburg Festival's production of the opera "Alcina" in Salzburg, Austria. The many fans of Bartoli have been waiting more than a decade hoping the Italian mezzo-soprano would return to perform in the United States again. Now she agrees “it's time” and jokes that at age 53 she needs to do it before she reaches retirement age. (Matthias Horn/Salzburg Festival via AP)

SALZBURG, Austria — The many fans of Cecilia Bartoli have been waiting more than a decade hoping the Italian mezzo-soprano would return to perform in the United States again.

Now she agrees “it’s time” and jokes that at age 53 she needs to do it before she reaches retirement age. But her fear of flying and her commitments in Europe always seem to get in the way.

At the Metropolitan Opera, general manager Peter Gelb says the company “has invited Ms. Bartoli back many times,” but so far to no avail, adding: “We would be very happy were she to return.”

Bartoli became famous for her recordings of Rossini and Mozart. She keeps a full schedule of opera and concerts and also runs the Whitsun Festival in Salzburg, Austria.

Mike Silverman, The Associated Press