Plácido Domingo hands over the Presidency of Europa Nostra to Cecilia Bartoli at Salzburg Whitsun Festival

Press release │ Photos

Plácido Domingo symbolically handed over the Presidency of Europa Nostra to his newly appointed successor Cecilia Bartoli on 6 June 2022 during a festive evening in Salzburg. They both performed in the sold-out Gala Concert “Carmencita & Friends”, the grand finale of this year’s Salzburg Whitsun Festival dedicated to Seville, of which Cecilia Bartoli is the Artistic Director. After the concert, Plácido Domingo – who led Europa Nostra for over 10 years (from 2010 to 2020) and who will remain its Honorary President – passed on the torch of the Presidency to Cecilia Bartoli, in the presence of the organisers of the Salzburg Festival and a large delegation of Europa Nostra, composed of Life Members and prominent supporters from all over Europe, which was led by its Executive President Hermann Parzinger and Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović.

Plácido Domingo and Cecilia Bartoli with Hermann Parzinger and Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović in Salzburg on 6 June. © Marco Borrelli / Salzburg Whitsun Festival


Plácido Domingo recalled the symbolic value of the Salzburg Festival where he has sung more than 50 times since 1975. “This is a place where artistic alliances and collaborations are forged, where music, part of Europe’s intangible cultural heritage, is the universal language used among people who want to build a better world. You cannot imagine how glad I am to be here in this magical place to welcome the amazing Cecilia Bartoli as my successor at the helm of Europa Nostra. She has the right personality and skills to graciously and effectively promote the combined transformative power of Europe’s music and heritage, and to convey the message of hope, fraternity and peace in Europe and beyond.”

Cecilia Bartoli stated: “I am so very proud to be Europa Nostra’s new President! I am grateful to Plácido Domingo for his power of example and also to Europa Nostra for their confidence! I shall put all my energy in promoting the mission of Europa Nostra. I am also delighted that this symbolic passing of the torch takes place precisely here in my beloved Salzburg and at the end of a Festival that is so dear to me.


Plácido Domingo passed on the torch of the Presidency to Cecilia Bartoli in the presence of a large delegation of Europa Nostra. © Marco Borrelli / Salzburg Whitsun Festival

Hermann Parzinger
paid tribute to Plácido Domingo for his 10 years of strong and loyal dedication to the cause of Europa Nostra, recalling some of the highlights of his Presidency: “We are indebted to Plácido Domingo for the major growth in visibility and credibility of our organisation which is today widely recognised as THE European voice of civil society for cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible”. He also conveyed a very warm welcome to Cecilia Bartoli into the Europa Nostra family. “We are so grateful that Cecilia Bartoli has accepted to become our new President. She is the right woman at the right place at the right time. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have her at the helm of our organisation at such a crucial moment for building a better future for Europe.” He also thanked the Salzburg Festival for welcoming Europa Nostra for such an important occasion. “Let us work together for a more peaceful and more beautiful future, illuminated by the light of art, music, and our shared heritage and values”.

Cecilia Bartoli was appointed for an initial mandate of 5 years as the new President of Europa Nostra on 20 May 2022 by the General Assembly of Europa Nostra. She is altogether a prominent singer, scholar, festival director, impresario and a five-time Grammy Award-winner. Since 2012, Cecilia has been serving as artistic director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival; she is also the artistic director of the orchestra Les Musiciens du Prince, based in Monte Carlo. This orchestra, dedicated to historically informed performances, was formed at her initiative and was granted the patronage of the princely family of Monaco. As of 1 January 2023, she will become the first woman to hold the position of the Director of the Opéra Monte-Carlo. The Cecilia Bartoli – Music Foundation (established in 2018) created the record label ‘Mentored by Bartoli’ which brings classical music to a wider audience by collaborating with talented young musicians.

About Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra is the European voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting cultural and natural heritage. It is a pan-European federation of heritage NGOs, supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals, covering more than 40 countries. Founded in 1963, it is today recognised as the largest and the most representative heritage network in Europe.
Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe’s endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered Programme. It celebrates excellence through the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. Europa Nostra actively contributes to the definition and implementation of European strategies and policies related to heritage, through a participatory dialogue with European Institutions and the coordination of the European Heritage Alliance. Europa Nostra is among the official partners of the New European Bauhaus initiative developed by the European Commission, and has recently been elected as the Regional Co-Chair of the Climate Heritage Network for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
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About Salzburg Festival

The Salzburg Festival was founded only two years after the end of the First World War, in 1920, by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Max Reinhardt and Richard Strauss, with the aim to contribute to peace and reconciliation in Europe through culture. Today, the Festival offers a broad artistic programme of opera, drama and concerts. It also offers a particularly broad spectrum of music productions, ranging from Mozart whose life and opus is so closely connected to Salzburg, to modern works, from classical interpretations to avant-garde experimentation. The Salzburg Festival draws its inspiration and creativity from the spirit of the place of the historic centre of the city of Salzburg, which is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Cecilia Bartoli is the Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović
Secretary General of Europa Nostra
M. +31 6 52313971

Joana Pinheiro
Communications Coordinator of Europa Nostra
M. +31 6 34365985

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