Andrea Bocelli, Grande Ufficiale OMRI (born 22 September 1958) is a five-time Classical Brit winner and three-time Grammy nominated Italian tenor. Since his debut album Il mare calmo della sera, released in 1994, he has recorded over 20 pop and classical albums, including seven complete operas, selling over 60 million worldwide . He is widely regarded as the most popular Italian singer in the world..
Teatro del Silenzio at Lajatico, Tuscany
Bocelli was born in Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy, about 40 km south of Pisa, in 1958, to parents Alessandro and Edi Bocelli, and grew up on the family farm. It was evident at birth that he had problems with his sight, and after visits to many doctors Bocelli was diagnosed with glaucoma. In 1970, at the age of 12, he completely lost his sight after an accident during a football game. As a young boy, Bocelli showed a great passion for music. His mother, Edi, has said that music was the only thing that would comfort him. At the age of six he started piano lessons before he also learned to play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, harp, guitar and drums.
Bocelli would also spend time singing during his childhood and would later recall that he was "one of those children who would always be asked to sing for my relatives. I don't think one really decides to be a singer - other people decide it for you by their reactions." At the age of 14 he won his first song competition, the Margherita d'Oro in Viareggio with O sole mio. After he finished secondary school, in 1980, he studied Law at the University of Pisa. After graduating he spent one year as a court appointed lawyer. To earn money Bocelli performed evenings in piano bars. It was there, in 1987, that he met his future wife, Enrica.
In 1992, Italian rock star Zucchero held auditions for tenors to make a demo tape with him of the song Miserere from his album of the same name, to send to Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. After hearing Bocelli on tape, Pavarotti urged Zucchero to use Bocelli instead of him, saying, "Thank you for writing such a wonderful song. Yet you do not need me to sing it. Let Andrea sing Miserere with you, for there is no one finer." The demo tape was from Caterina Caselli, who had discovered Bocelli: she decided to give him a chance. Caselli is Bocelli's current manager and producer.
Zucchero eventually persuaded Pavarotti to record the song with him and it became a hit throughout Europe. In Zucchero's European concert tour in 1993, it was Bocelli who accompanied him to sing the duet and he was also given solo sets in the concerts, singing "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot. Bocelli signed with the Sugar Records music label in Milan after the group's president heard Bocelli sing Miserere and Nessun dorma at a birthday party for Zucchero.
In December he entered the preliminary round of the Italian Sanremo Music Festival in the category of Giovani performing both parts of the duet Miserere. He won the preliminary competition with the highest marks ever recorded in the Newcomers section. On 28 December, he debuted in the classical world in a concert at the Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia.
In February 1994 he entered the main Sanremo Festival competition with "Il mare calmo della sera", and he won the "Newcomers" section, again with a record score. His debut album, named after the song, was released and immediately entered the Italian Top Ten, going platinum within weeks.
In May he toured with Italian pop singer Gerardina Trovato. In September he sang at Pavarotti's annual Charity Gala concert, Pavarotti International in Modena where he sang Ruggero Leoncavallo's "Mattinata" and sang a duet with Pavarotti, Maurizio Morante's Notte e Piscatore. He also sang "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" from Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata in the finale, along with Nancy Gustafson, Giorgia, Andreas Vollenweider and Bryan Adams and also Adams' song All for love.
In September he made his debut in an opera as Macduff in Verdi's, Macbeth at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa. He performed the hymn, Adeste Fideles in Rome before Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica at Christmas.
As winner of the 1994 Newcomers section at the Sanremo Festival, he was invited to return the following year, entering the main competition with Con te partir?? and finished in fourth place.
The song was included on his album, Bocelli which was released in Spring and produced by Italian record producers, Mauro Malavasi. The album went on to achieve double platinum sales in Italy. His third album, Viaggio Italiano was released in autumn. In November, Bocelli performed in Belgium and the Netherlands at the annual Night of the Proms a series of concerts which consist of a combination of pop music and popular classical music. Bocelli sang Miserere and Funicul?Ĵ, Funicul? with guitarist John Miles. As a consequence of this, Con te partir?? became the best-selling single in Belgium of all time.
In 1996, Bocelli was invited to duet with English soprano Sarah Brightman at the final bout of German IBF World Light-Heavyweight boxing champion Henry Maske. Brightman, a friend of Maske, approached Bocelli after she heard him singing Con te partir??, whilst she was dining in a restaurant. Changing the title lyric of the song to Time to Say Goodbye, they re-recorded it as a duet with members of the London Symphony Orchestra and sang it as a farewell for Maske. The single debuted atop the German charts, where it stayed for fourteen weeks. With sales nearing three million copies, and a sextuple platinum award, Time to Say Goodbye eclipsed the previous best-selling single by more than one million copies. A spin-off single to Time to Say Goodbye called Time to Say Hello has been rumoured to be in the works. He topped the Spanish singles chart in 1996 with a duet with Marta Sanchez, Vivo Por Ella, the Spanish version of Vivo per lei recorded with Giorgia for the Romanza album.
The same year, Bocelli recorded "Je vis pour elle", the French version of Vivo per lei, as a duet with French singer H?İl??ne S?İgara. Released in December 1997, the song became a hit in Belgium (Wallonia) and France, where it reached #1 on the charts. To date, it is the best-selling single for S?İgara, and the second for Bocelli, after "Time to Say Goodbye". His 1997 international debut album, Romanza extended Bocelli's fame worldwide as the album went multi-platinum in many countries. On 3 March he appeared in Hamburg, Germany, with Sarah Brightman to receive the ECHO music award for "Best Single of the Year".
In August, he appeared at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago in Italy, and then at the World Youth Festival in Paris, where he again sang in the presence of the Pope. In the summer, he gave twenty-two open air concerts in Germany, as well as an indoor concert in Oberhausen on 31 August. In September he performed in concert at the Piazza dei Cavalieri in Pisa for the home video A Night in Tuscany (Italian: ) with guests Nuccia Focile, Sarah Brighman and Zucchero. On 14 September in Munich, Germany, he received an ECHO Klassik "Best seller of the year" award for his album, Viaggio Italiano.
Back in Italy in Bologna on 27 September, he yet again sang before the Pope at the International Eucharistic Congress. On 19 October, he sang at the TeleFood benefit concert held in the Vatican City, and organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization to raise awareness about world hunger. On 25 October he received a Bambi award, an annual television and media prize awarded by the German media company Hubert Burda Media, in the Klassik category in Cologne, Germany.
Bocelli made his debut in a major operatic role in 1998 when he played Rodolfo in a production of La boh??me at the Teatro Comunale in Cagliari from 18 February to 25 February. His fifth album Aria - The Opera Album was released in March.
On 19 April Bocelli entered the United States (USA) market with a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. followed the next day by a reception at the White House with then USA president Bill Clinton. On 5 May, he appeared in Monte Carlo winning two World Music Awards, one in the category "Best Italian Singer", and one for "Best Classical Interpretation".
In July and August, he toured North and South America. His final concert of the tour at Madison Square Garden was sold out. In September, he received his next Echo Klassik award, this time for "Best selling classical album" with Aria - the opera album. On Thanksgiving Eve Bocelli appeared as a guest on C?İline Dion's Television special These Are Special Times in which he joined Dion with their hit The Prayer from Dion's album These Are Special Times and he also sang Ave Maria solo. Dion introduced him by saying, "I heard someone say - If God had a singing voice, he would sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli." As a result of his appearance on the show, his popularity in the USA further increased. Dion's album containing The Prayer was released in 1998 and re-issued with the DVD of the TV special in 2007. The song appeared on the Quest for Camelot soundtrack in 1998 and on Bocelli's album, Sogno, the following year.
At the New Year, he performed two concerts at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel used Con te partir?? in their advertisements, which again increased his popularity further in the USA. He also performed the first Internet live opera broadcast in its entirety from the Detroit Opera House, with Denyce Graves. At the 56th Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on 24 January, The Prayer won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the film Quest for Camelot. At the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on 24 February, Bocelli was nominated in the Best New Artist category which was won by Lauryn Hill. Bocelli and Dion received a standing ovation after singing The Prayer. The song was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and performed by Bocelli and Dion at the ceremony held at the Los Angeles Music Center on 21 March.
From 11 April to 24 April, he toured the West coast of North America from San Diego to Vancouver, with a final performance before over 18,000 spectators at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Actress Elizabeth Taylor stood by his side on the stage during the encore, while he sang The Prayer.
At the invitation of Steven Spielberg, Bocelli sang in Los Angeles on 15 May before Bill Clinton at an event on behalf of the Democratic Party. At the end of May he toured Portugal and Spain and sang with the Portuguese Fado singer Dulce Pontes. On 27 June he took part in the Michael Jackson benefit concert for suffering children in Munich's Olympic Stadium.
From 10 July to 27 August he appeared in a guest role at seven performances of the The Merry Widow at the Verona Arena in Rome. As the "Tenor Conte Andrea" he performed three arias, "La donna ?? mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto; "Tu, che m' hai preso il cuor" from Franz Leh??r's Land des Laechelns and "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" from Verdi's La Traviata, again receiving standing ovations.
On 10 September, together with soprano Daniela Dessi and two Polish singers, he performed at the Great Theatre of ???d? in Poland. From 7 October to 19 November, he made his United States operatic debut in Jules Massenet's Werther at the Detroit Opera House with the Michigan Opera Theater. He was cheered by the audiences, but criticized by the press.
He also performed at Rodeo Drive in Hollywood and gave further concerts in Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago and an appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight Show. Then Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani gave him the Crystal Apple, a gift to celebrated personalities from the City of New York. His seventh album Sacred Arias, which contains exclusively sacred music, was released worldwide on 8 November, and two weeks later reached first place in the USA Classic Billboard charts, making Bocelli the first vocalist to hold all top three places on the chart, with Aria, the opera album in second place, and Viaggio Italiano in third place. The album also included the hymn of the holy year 2000 which was chosen as the official version by the Vatican in October.
Immediately after his return to Italy he sang in Florence at a meeting of the Centre-left Heads of State. Invited by Queen Elizabeth II, he performed at the annual Royal Variety Performance in Birmingham, England on 29 November. On 30 November, his book La musica del silenzio, an autobiographical novel, was released in Italy.
From 12 December to 21 December he performed six concerts in Barcelona, Strasbourg, Lisbon, Zagreb, Budapest and Messina, directed by Lorin Maazel, some of which were broadcast on local television. He also performed on German television; Wetten, dass..? on 11 December and the Jos?İ Carreras Gala in Leipzig on 17 December. On 31 December, he finished a marathon twenty-four concerts in thirty days, with a concert at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York in front of 8,000 people, welcoming in the new millennium.
At the 42nd Grammy Awards on 23 February Bocelli was nominated twice. The Prayer was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Bocelli performed it with Dion at the ceremony. His "World Tour 2000" started on 31 March. In May his Sacred Arias album was voted album of the year by listeners of the Classic FM radio station in the UK. His world tour continued from 12 May to 14 May with four concerts in Japan and South Korea. At the end of the UEFA European Football Championship he performed with Valery Gergiev and Ren?İe Fleming at a concert on the River Maas in Rotterdam. On 6 July he performed at the Statue of Liberty in New York and on 17 August he performed in Giuseppi Verdi's Messa da Requiem at the Verona Arena in Rome. His seventh album Verdi was released on 11 September. In September he also performed three concerts in Australia. He received another Echo Klassik award for "Bestseller of the year" for Sacred Arias. In November his first complete opera recording, La Boh??me was released. In December he received another award in Germany, the Goldene Europa for classical music.
In January 2001, Bocelli portrayed the main character in Pietro Mascagni's opera, L'amico Fritz at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona and again performed the tenor part in Verdi's Requiem. On 19 March the Requiem album was released with Bocelli as tenor. From 22 March to 6 April he toured North America accompanied by Cecilia Gasdia and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. On 17 June he performed at the re-opening of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In July he performed two concerts in Dublin with Ana Mar?a Mart?nez and the New Symphony Orchestra. At the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice on 4 October he presented his new album Cieli di Toscana and was recognised for having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. In October he opened the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sicilian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini in Catania. On 28 October, he sang Franz Schubert's Ellens dritter Gesang as a representative of the Roman Catholic faith, during a memorial concert at Ground Zero in New York City for the victims of the September 11 attacks there. In November he received the Platinum Europe Award for one million sales of the album Cieli di Toscana, and at the Italian Music Awards he was given a special award from the Federation of the Italian Music Industry for his merits as an "Ambassador of Italian music in the world". He performed seven more concerts in the USA accompanied by Ana Mar?a Mart?nez and on 23 December, in front of the President of Italy and other guests of honour, he sang the Italian national anthem as well as works of Bellini and Verdi at the traditional Christmas concert in the Italian Senate, which was broadcast live on television for the first time.
In Berlin on 5 February he received a Goldene Kamera award in the "Music & Entertainment" category. On 6 March he received two World Music Awards in Monte Carlo: "World best selling classical artist" and "Best selling Italian artist". On 11 March, he gave a concert for peace at the Basilica di San Marco a Venezia in Venice, accompanied by the orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice and conducted by Lorin Maazel. On 15 March he took part in the opening of Walt Disney Studios Park in Marne-la-Vall?İe France. On 7 May Bocelli and Tony Renis received a Telegatto Italian Television award for the soundtrack of the series Cuore. On 23 May he received the 2002 Classical BRIT Award for "Outstanding Contribution to Music". On 27 May he performed at the Villa Madama in Rome in front of USA president George W. Bush and Italian president Silvio Berlusconi. On 28 May he took part in "Pavarotti & Friends" charity concert in Modena in aid of Angola. In June he again toured the USA, then on 26 July and 3 August he portrayed Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the 48th Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. On 14 October he and Lorin Maazel presented his new album Sentimento to a worldwide audience. Further presentations took place in Milan and New York, and the album was released on 4 November, selling over two million copies in 40 days. On 24 October he started his Sentimento tour in Z??rich which took in large arenas in several European and North American cities.
In February Bocelli performed Madama Butterfly in an exclusive Monte Carlo concert, which was attended by Caroline, Princess of Hanover. In March for the first time he appeared as a producer, at the Sanremo Festival, where the young artists Allunati and Jacqueline Ferry sang for his new record label, Clacksong. In May his second complete opera, Tosca, was released. At a private benefit gala for the Royal National Institute of Blind People Bocelli sang in front of the British Royal Family. A day later he received two awards for Sentimento at the 2003 Classical BRIT Award held at the Royal Albert Hall in London - "Best selling classical album" and "Album of the year". On 24 May he performed in a benefit concert for the Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, with sopranos Maria Luigia Borsi and Lucia Dessanti, baritone Soo Kyung Ahn, and violinist Ruth Rogers, accompanied by Marcello Rota and the Orchestra Citt? di Pisa. Three days later he was again invited to perform at "Pavarotti & Friends" in Modena and sang a medley of Neapolitan songs together with Pavarotti. In June he continued his Sentimento tour in Athens and Cyprus. In September he took part in a concert for the Justice ministers and Interior ministers of the European Union at the Parco della Musica in Rome. He then resumed his tour, accompanied by Maria Luigia Borsi, Ruth Rogers and Marcello Rota.
He won the "Favourite Specialist Performer" award at the UK National Music Awards in October 2003. In November he once again toured in the United States, this time accompanied by Ana Maria Martinez, Kallen Esperian and Steven Mercurio. In December he gave his first concert in China and at the end of the month sang Gounod's Ave Maria at Pavarotti's wedding in Modena.
In Bologna in January he performed as Werther in four performances of the opera of the same name. In April and May he toured Asia again, visiting Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore. And in May he took part in a concert at Circo Massimo in Rome organised by Quincy Jones to launch the "We are the Future" project. In June his third complete opera Il trovatore was released. In July he played the part of Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca at the 50th Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. And he took part in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) global campaign for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
In September he performed his "Once in a Lifetime" tour in Australia with concerts in Sydney and Melbourne and one concert in Christchurch, New Zealand where he was joined on stage by New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra.
On 15 October he performed at the People Conference Hall in Beijing, China and on 17 October at the Great Hall in Shanghai.
During early 2005 Bocelli was on tour including to Madeira, Hungary, Norway, USA, UK, Italy and Germany. He also appeared in Sesame Street singing "Time to Say Goodnight" a parody of Time to Say Goodbye as a lullaby to Elmo. On 21 March he performed on the Music for Asia benefit concert in Rome, televised on Italia 1, in aid of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake appeal.
In June he performed at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin. On 2 July he performed at the Paris concert as part of the Live 8 event. Also during the second part of the year, he performed in Croatia, Serbia, Italy, the USA, Dubai, Switzerland and finally in Scandinavia. On 28 August he performed at the Faenol Festival held in Vaynol, Wales and organised by Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. In December his first contemporary music concert took place at a Lake Las Vegas village resort in Nevada, USA which was recorded for the American television network PBS and released as the Under the Desert Sky DVD. He also took part in the Royal Christmas Show, which took place in several cities in the USA in December. The album Werther was released in December. During 2005 he was invited by Pope Benedict XVI, George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II to perform at special events.
On 18 February he sang at the Toyota Center in Houston during the National Basketball Association's (NBA) 2006 All-Star Weekend, and broadcast live on the TNT Cable television network.
On 26 February Bocelli sang "Because We Believe" from his Amore album in the Carnevale section of the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics which was held in Turin Italy with a worldwide television audience. He also began another tour with a concert at the Piazza di Castello in Turin. In March he was honoured by the Italian state with a Grande Ufficiale Italian Order of Merit (Grand Officer of the Italian Republic), given to him by then President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi for his worldwide work for his country as a singer. The award was presented to him at the Sanremo Festival where he performed a duet with American singer Christina Aguilera on 4 March.
From 31 March to 2 April he took part in the Maggio Musicale in Florence where he sang the Canto di pace (Canto of peace) by Marco Tutino and the tenor part from Gioachino Rossini's Messa di Gloria and in Naples where he took part in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle.
In April 2006, he featured as a guest coach on American Idol helping the finalists sing the week's themed songs, "Greatest Love Songs." He also performed on that week's results show. American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee performed at three of Bocelli's concerts in California from 9 June to 11 June singing duets of Somos Novios and The Prayer with Bocelli. They also performed on 'J. C. Penney Jam: The Concert for America's Kids and recorded duet versions of Somos Novios for the resulting album, and also Can't Help Falling in Love on the CD of the Under the Desert Sky DVD.
In June he sang the Italian duet version of "Because We Believe", "Ama, credi e vai", with Gianna Nannini at the "gro??en Fan Party" at the opening of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Berlin in front of billions of worldwide television viewers.
On 1 July 2007, Bocelli performed "Music of the Night" from Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Phantom of the Opera, in a special musicals medley during the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Bocelli returned to his home town for a triumphant concert at the newly created Teatro del Silenzio in Lajatico on 5 July 2007. Guest appearance by Kenny G, Heather Headley, Lang Lang, Elisa, Sarah Brightman and Laura Pausini. In September he debuted at the Avery Fisher Hall in New York with four concerts. In October the opera album of Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci with Bocelli singing the role of Canio was released. In November he won the "Best Italian Artist" and "World's Best-selling Classical Artist" awards at the World Music Awards. In December he finished his 2006 tour with more concerts in North America and Europe.
Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's duet version of "Con te partir??" was used in the 2007 film Blades of Glory, as an ice skating song. K-1 mixed martial arts fighter, Akiyama Yoshihiro started using "Con te partir??" as his ring entrance music. On 8 September Bocelli sang an arrangement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Ave verum corpus at the funeral of Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy.
On 21 October 2007, he sang "Con te partir??" with Katherine Jenkins on the UK television series Strictly Come Dancing results show, and on 30 October, he sang "The Prayer" with C?İline Dion during an ITV Special An Audience with C?İline Dion. The show was broadcast on 23 December. Alongside fellow Italian singer Laura Pausini, he sang Vive Ya during the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards. The song, originally released in 1997 as a duet in Italian between Bocelli and Italian singer-songwriter Trovatto on Bocelli's Romanza, was also released in English on his 2007 album, The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere, as Dare to Live. The album, Vivere, sold over 3 million copies.
On 20 January 2008, Boceli received the Italian TV award Telegatto in platinum for Italian music in the world, in Rome. He sang "La voce del silenzio", which means the voice of quietness, and "Dare to Live" during the ceremony.
To promote the album, he performed "Canto della Terra" at The Alan Titchmarsh Show on BBC in London on February 1; was interviewed by Fabio Fazio on the Italian talk show Che tempo che fa on RAI 3 in Italy; and performed "Canto della terra", "A te" and "Besame mucho" from the album, as well as "My way" on February 2; and made an appearance on The South Bank Show in London, where he sang the French aria "Pour mon ??me" on February 3. Then on February 10, he performed "The Prayer" at the 50th Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles, with Josh Groban in a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti, and sang "Dare to live" with Heather Headley the following day on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In April he toured in Asia with performances in Tokyo; Taichung, Taiwan; and Seoul, South Korea. Each concert was attended by more than 15,000 people.
On May 7, 2008, he sang at Steel Ar?İna in Ko??ice, Slovakia in front of 8,000 people. Then May 13 he sang at the "Teatro delle Muse" in Ancona Italy, for a charity concert for "Francesca Rava - N.P.H. Italia Onlus", a foundation that helps poor and disabled children around the world.
On 23 May 2008 he sang The Prayer with Katharine McPhee in a Las Vegas tribute concert for Canadian producer and songwriter David Foster. Bocelli later praised Filipina teen-aged singer Charice, whom he had first heard perform at that concert.
On June 2, 2008 he performed at the Piazza del Duomo, Milan in front of 80,000 people during a concert celebrating the anniversary of the Republic of Italy's formation. In June he played Don Jos?İ in Bizet's opera Carmen in Rome.
On July 20, he held his third concert at the Teatro del Silenzio in Lajatico, Bocelli's hometown. The concert was a tribute to the Cinema of Italy. Its performers included Italian composer and musician Nicola Piovani, Italian ballet dancer Roberto Bolle, Israeli singer Noa, and Charice. Then on July 31, he performed at a concert in "Vingis Park", Vilnius, Lithuania in front of more than 18,000 people. Australian singer Tina Arena performed two duets with Bocelli, "Canto Della Terra" and "The Prayer", at the closing stages of the concert.
On August 7, 2008, he held a benefit concert at Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina and was accompanied by Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Then, during the rest of August, he was on tour in Australia for the third time, with performances at Vector Arena Auckland, New Zealand,on the 20th, Entertainment Centre Brisbane on the 22nd, Acer Arena Sydney, on the 24th, Rod Laver Arena Melbourne, on the 27th, and at Burswood Dome Perth, on the 30th. His fianc?İ and both of his sons accompanied him on the tour. Tina Arena performed again with him in all 5 concerts during the tour.
On September 26, 2008, during the 2008 Veneto Festival, he held a concert in the Church of the Eremitani in Padova, Italy, in front of about a 1000 people. He was accompanied by the I Solisti Veneti orchestra, which was celebrating its 50th birthday, conducted by Claudio Scimone, and by the Wiener Singakademie choir. The concert was a celebration of Giacomo Puccini's 150th birthday.
On October 10 and 11 he performed at Petra, singing Dare to Live with Laura Pausini, as well as performing E Lucevan le Stelle from Tosca. On October 19 he sang "O Surdato 'Nnamurato" and a duet of "Non Ti Scordar Di Me" with Cecilia Bartoli, both from the Incanto album, during the ECHO Awards in Germany, and later presented the soprano with an ECHO award. On October 24, he performed at Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, as a tribute to the city, where he celebrated the Italian release of Incanto. Performing with him were flautist Andrea Griminelli, Italian pop singer Massimo Ranieri and soprano Cecilia Bartoli, with Steven Mercurio conducting the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. On October 31, he performed a solo version of "The Prayer", as well as "Because", a song from Incanto, live on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
On November 21 and 22, Bocelli was amongst a quartet of soloists (soprano Sabina Cvilak, mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich and bass Alexander Vinogradov) to sing Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, conducted by Pl??cido Domingo, at the Washington National Opera in Washington, DC. Bocelli sang twice in the piece and later the two famous tenors sang The Pearl Fishers duet which would be the first aria they had ever sang together. On November 25 and 26 he starred along side soprano Ver??nica Villarroel in an opera in concert of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana at the "Municipal Auditorium" in San Antonio, Texas. He later held a concert at "Atrio de la Catedral" in Campeche, Mexico, on November 28, where he sang songs from Incanto as well as some of his Spanish hits, including Besame Mucho, Somos Novios, Amapola and Por ti Volare, the Spanish version of Con te Partiro.
On the 27 May 2009, Bocelli sang "Il Gladiatore", from the Gladiator soundtrack, followed by the Champions League theme song, which is based on "Zadok the Priest" by Handel, during the opening ceremony of the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final.
Andrea Bocelli with his fianc?İe, Veronica Berti, during his 2008 Asian Tour.
Bocelli was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People of 1998. Bocelli met his first wife Enrica, with whom he had two children, while singing at piano bars early in his career. They were married on 27 June 1992. Their first child, Amos, was born in February 1995. Their second son, Matteo was born in October 1997. The couple divorced in 2002. Since then, he met fianc?İe Veronica Berti, but he does not plan to get married again due to his Roman Catholic beliefs. The couple live in Forte dei Marmi, and Bocelli's ex-wife and two sons live in the couple's previous residence in the same comune, in the Province of Lucca.
Bocelli's father, Sandro Bocelli, died on 30 April 2000. His mother encouraged him to honour his commitments and so he sang for the Pope in Rome on 1 May and immediately returned home for the funeral. At the 5 July performance that was filmed for PBS as American Dream ??? Andrea Bocelli's Statue of Liberty Concert, Bocelli dedicated the encore Sogno to the memory of his father. A section of the way along the beach in Jesolo, on the Italian Adriatic coast, was named after Bocelli on August 11, 2003.
In 2006, Bocelli influenced the municipality of his hometown Lajatico to build an outdoor theatre, the "Teatro del Silenzio". Bocelli performed for one night only. One night every July the theatre will be opened for performances. The rest of the time it will be silent. Since the opening he has sung on July 27, 2006, July 5, 2007, July 20, 2008, and on July 18, 2009.
Grand Official of the Order of Merit of the Republic (Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana) awarded in Rome, in 2006.
Winner of the 1994 Newcomers section of the Sanremo Music Festival.
ECHO music award for "Best Single of the Year", for Time to Say Goodbye, in 1997.
ECHO Klassik "Best seller of the year" award for his album, Viaggio Italiano in 1997.
Bambi Award in 1997.
Two World Music Awards, one in the category "Best Italian Singer", and one for "Best Classical Interpretation" in 1998.
ECHO Klassik, for "Best selling classical album" with Aria - The Opera Album in 1998.
ECHO Klassik for "Bestseller of the year" for Sacred Arias in 2000.
2000 Classical BRIT Award for "Album of the year" for Sacred Arias in 2000.
Goldene Europa for classical music in 2000.
Platinum Europe Award for 1 million sales of the album Cieli di Toscana in 2001.
Special award from the Federation of the Italian Music Industry for his merits as an "Ambassador of Italian music in the world." at Italian Music Awards in 2001.
Goldene Kamera award in the "Music & Entertainment" category 2002.
Two World Music Awards, for "World best selling classical artist" and for "Best selling Italian artist" in 2002.
Telegatto award for the soundtrack of the series Cuore in 2002.
2002 Classical BRIT Award for "Outstanding Contribution to Music" in 2002.
Two 2003 Classical BRIT Awards for "Best selling classical album" and "Album of the year" for Sentimento in 2003.
"Favourite Specialist Performer" award at the ITV National Music Awards in 2003.
"Diamond CD" for more than 50 millions albums sold worldwide, in 2004.
Two World Music Awards for "Best Italian Artist" and "World's Best-selling Classical Artist" in 2006.
Telegatto award in platinum for Italian music in the world in 2008.
Four times Diamond disc for Incanto, at the Italian talk show Che tempo che fa, for selling in excess to 1.5 million copies within 4 month, in 2009.
Despite his worldwide popularity, Bocelli has been dismissed and criticised by classical music critics including Bernard Holland of the New York Times, and Andrew Clement of The Guardian. Some point to his "poor phrasing, uneven tone and lack of technique."
In 1999, the New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini in his review of Bocelli's North American opera debut at the Detroit Opera House in the title role of Massenet's Werther commented, "The basic color of Mr. Bocelli's voice is warm and pleasant, but he lacks the technique to support and project his sound. His sustained notes wobble. His soft high notes are painfully weak. Inadequate breath control often forces him to clip off notes prematurely at the end of phrases." In December 2000 Tommasini again criticised Bocelli, this time for his La boh??me album when he claimed that Bocelli "still has trouble with basic things, like breath support" and his voice had been "carefully recorded", "to help it match the trained voices of the other cast members in fullness and presence."
In describing Bocelli's singing, New York Times music critic Bernard Holland noted, "the tone is rasping, thin and, in general, poorly supported. Even the most modest upward movement thins it even more, signalling what appears to be the onset of strangulation. To his credit, Mr Bocelli sings mostly in tune. But his phrasing tends toward carelessness and rhythmic jumble... The diction is not clear." Furthermore, Holland observed that "The critic's duty is to report that Mr Bocelli is not a very good singer." The Associated Press reported "Passion? Yes. Power. No. Bocelli's voice - though robust in spirit and precisely in tune, even in the upper register - had a thin quality that never opened up." Similarly, classical music critic Andrew Clement found Bocelli's studio opera recordings consistently disappointing in quality: "Bocelli's profoundly unmusical contribution, with its unvaryingly coarse tone, wayward intonation and never a phrase properly shaped, fatally undermines all their contributions." Anne Midgette of the New York Times agreed, noting "a thinness of voice, oddly anemic phrasing (including shortchanging upper notes of phrases in a most untenorial manner), a curious lack of expression."
An audio commentary by Midgette providing a comparison of Bocelli's tone and technique with Luciano Pavarotti's appears below. According to the commentary, Bocelli's tone and technique is not as firm or full as Pavarotti's. And Bocelli's singing of the high note in the passage sounds "squeezed" as opposed to the "ringing" quality Pavarotti achieves when singing the same note in the passage.
Bocelli and Pavarotti singing an excerpt of "Cielo e mar" from Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda
Problems listening to the files? See media help.
During his most recent performance in New York, the music critic Steve Smith wrote "For cognoscenti of vocal artistry the risks involved in Mr. Bocelli???s undertakings, both then and now, need no explanation. Substantial technical shortcomings masked by amplification are laid bare in a more conventional classical setting. Mr. Bocelli???s tone can be pleasant, and his pitch is generally secure. But his voice is small and not well supported; his phrasing, wayward and oddly inexpressive." .</ref>