Opera star Cecilia Bartoli, the new President of Europa Nostra

On 20 May 2022, the General Assembly of Europa Nostra – the European Voice of Civil Society Committed to Cultural and Natural Heritage – has enthusiastically appointed Cecilia Bartoli, the world-renowned opera star, as the new President of the organisation, for an initial mandate of five years. Europa Nostra is the largest and most representative heritage network in Europe, collaborating closely with the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other international bodies.

Hermann Parzinger, Executive-President of Europa Nostra, who chaired today’s session of the General Assembly, conveyed the pride and joy of Europa Nostra’s membership towards the organisation’s new President. “We are so grateful for Cecilia Bartoli’s readiness to become our new President. We could not have found a better successor to our outgoing President, Plácido Domingo, to help us steer Europa Nostra to new heights. We admire her sublime voice, her artistic originality and audacity, her dedication to combining art with imaginative thinking, creativity with scientific research, tradition with innovation, her tireless work and professionalism as singer and artistic director, her passion for Europe’s priceless cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, and, of course, her warm and charismatic personality. With all these qualities, Cecilia Bartoli will be a shining light providing guidance and inspiration to our action which is focused on the pursuit of a more sustainable, inclusive, beautiful and peaceful future of our Europe“.

Accepting her appointment, Cecilia Bartoli stated: “As a European citizen and someone who has dedicated most of my life to cultural heritage, I feel extremely privileged to have been appointed President of Europa Nostra, and accept this honour with greatest pride! I am also delighted to pursue the work of the previous President, Plácido Domingo. Let me stress that I fully subscribe to Europa Nostra’s claim that ‘cultural heritage is vital for our economy, our society, our culture, our environment, our well-being and for the future of Europe,’ and that we, as European citizens, ‘must take full responsibility for transmitting this heritage to future generations.’ I am looking forward to the coming years with Europa Nostra, its network and projects. It is an organisation which inspires me and enriches my work, and I am looking forward to contributing to the implementation of its objectives at the service of Europe’s invaluable heritage.”

If, like myself, you were born in a magnificent historic city like Rome, you are probably more aware of the incredible significance of cultural heritage for the emergence of great architecture, literature, music or art, since you are exposed to its beauties every day, as soon as you go out into the street. Italy’s magnificent landscapes – its islands, mountains and plains, its villages and towns, its fearsome volcanoes, its rugged coastlines and shiny white beaches, its ancient vineyards, olive groves and canals, the endless shades of blue in its lakes and surrounding seas, all of this composes my invaluable heritage, to which I am dearly committed, just as much as our handicraft and folklore, or our modern achievements, such as our exquisite cooking, speedy railways, elegant fashion and legendary films. My heritage profoundly marked my thinking, my feelings and my personality, before even becoming conscious of it. Over the years, I was fortunate to add additional, mostly European, cultural layers to my original one: Spanish, French, Swiss, Austrian, Monegasque and many more. They made me see the immense value of our heritage, which in Europe is so utterly diverse but at the same time so profoundly connected. Heritage is culture and recollection. Without an awareness of our heritage, culture would disappear, and with it our identity“, added Cecilia Bartoli.

Plácido Domingo, who was the previous President of Europa Nostra for a period of 10 years and who continues to support Europa Nostra as Honorary President, reacted enthusiastically to Bartoli’s appointment. “She is a great artist who personifies Europa Nostra’s mission and values. Europa Nostra will continue to flourish under her inspiring, creative and energetic leadership. I wish her every success at the helm of this wonderful organisation of which I had the privilege and joy of being the President and which will always remain close to my heart. I look forward to congratulating her in person on 6 June in Salzburg, when we shall be performing together at the Gala concert closing the Salzburg Whitsun Festival of which Cecilia Bartoli is the acclaimed Artistic Director“.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, also paid tribute to the incoming President of Europa Nostra: “The entire Europa Nostra team and I are delighted to welcome Cecilia Bartoli as our new President. She is an iconic artistic ambassador of Europe’s cultural heritage who radiates a contagious positive energy and generously shares her art and passion with younger generations. Under her enthusiastic leadership, we shall further amplify the resonance and impact of Europa Nostra’s voice for the benefit of safeguarding and promoting Europe’s shared heritage and shared values.”

Cecilia Bartolieuropa nostraopera starpresidentunesco
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