World renowned and often loved, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will hold exclusive Valentine’s Day concert at the BB&T center in Miami, Florida. Best known for his romantic verses and hauntingly beautiful voice, Examiner caught up with the new South Florida resident for a few words on his latest album.
Examiner: So how are you are enjoying your first winter as an official South Florida resident?
Andrea Bocelli: It is a land that I love, a place that I consider a special one for many reasons: it has been privileged by nature (the sun, the sea, a mild climate which results in an explosion of colors and in a lush vegetation), but also because it is so welcoming thanks to its people, people who are a mixture of different cultures, a community tending to be cheerful, full of energy, optimistic and hard-working. I am very happy I have finally come to own a foothold in a place that I consider under every aspect my second country, after having been coming for so long, and after many years of mutual affection.
E: Tell me about your latest album, “Love in Portofino,” what makes this one different from your past albums?
AB: It is an album that I feel looks very much like me: in “Love in Portofino” I have collected those Pop “classics” which speak of love and that have accompanied my youth, timeless pages that still have the power to fascinate, to move, to make one fall in love. “Love in Portofino” is for me the perfect exemplification of how a live concert can reach quality standards difficult to reach in studios…The warmth and the sensuality of a place which is among the most beautiful in the world, the magical atmosphere of a small bay on the sea, the presence of a lot of friends artists and of a relaxed audience made up of people who were on holiday, has contributed to make of it a truly unique evening.
E: Which is your favorite track?
AB: All of them! The sequence performed in Portofino is just the result of my personal preferences, it is impossible to have one single preference. Every track has inflamed and touched several generations… Pages always “accomplices,” at all latitudes, because many couples got together, and will get together, under the spell of these fascinating and seductive love melodies. Naturally a special moment was the one when I could sing a duet with my partner. A sweet smiling song, a small jewel already sung by Frank e Nancy Sinatra.
E: You also made your cinema debut last year with “Love in Portofino,” what made you decide to release that concert in the cinema?
AB: I find it exciting that anyone in the world can share that magical time in summer, whose memory is for me unforgettable. Frankly I think that this dimension of uniqueness, of widespread emotion can be perceived both in the audio and in the video….Being in Portofino, singing in that ancient fisherman village that embraces a small bay overlooking the sea, has contributed to the artistic quality of the final product. An unforgettable moment, for me and for my colleagues on stage, but also for the public who watched the event live and, therefore, I hope also for those who will live it through the screen.
E: Can we expect more concerts released on the big screen in the future?
AB: Why not? The experience of “Love in Portofino” has been a positive one and I consider it as an encouragement to face, in the future, if possible, a new project to be released also on the big screen.
E: How do you think your music has evolved since you first started?
AB: I think it is life that, inevitably, makes us change. Over the years, every meeting, every reading and every meditation, I think, has had an influence thus contributing to my evolution as an interpreter. Perhaps twenty years ago I used to approach singing in a lighter way, may be less intense. Today for better or for worse, when I get on stage I have a different burden; a “living” that is reverberated in my singing.
As for music choices and not only for the opera ones, my preferences – in the 90s as today – usually go to pages that have overcome generational conflicts: even in pop music I have always loved especially the “classics.”
After these first twenty years of career I do not lack strength or enthusiasm and the harmony established with my public, thanks to music, has not changed. I am amazed and moved at every concert.
E: You often sing so much of love and passion, where do you find the inspiration?
AB: Love is the spice of life, it is the engine of the world. This is what I have learned, it is what inspires me every day, and it is what I am trying to teach my children, more with my example than through words. Experience has taught me that if we share the happiness and the good we have in ourselves, everything will return multiplied: the more love we will give the more we will receive.
I find my inspiration in faith (because in life - I am sure - nothing happens just by chance, and everything leads to the mystery and the wonder of our existence, and to what Heaven gave us) and in music of course. Music that can “change the moral character of the soul” (as Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, used to say) it can teach us beauty, can open our heart and mind, and it can arouse in us sensual or mystical desire.
E: You mentioned in another interview that it's easy to sing in Spanish because it's a lot like Italian, do you ever write songs with the thought of recording them in Spanish?
AB: Unfortunately not, even if I would love to. In order to write and therefore to shape language one must not only know it, you must have deepened its knowledge to the point of seizing even the smallest nuance… As for Spanish I think it is the most intense and seductive language for a certain repertoire, because of its unique fascination.
Since I first approached the pop repertoire at around eighteen of age, I “had” to learn songs in
Spanish because it is right in this language that were written many of the songs widely regarded as immortal, so beautiful as to become “classics” and survive the passing of decades keeping their charm intact. Each language, however, expresses in itself a particular universe. Being a professional in the field of voice, I have always been interested in investigating each nuance, each rhythmic and linguistic variable to establish through singing an honest contact with my public.
E: You also mentioned an interest in learning to speak Spanish just to read Borges, are there any other Spanish authors you’d like to read?
AB: It is just so…I think that reading an author in his/her original language is the only way that really allows to grasp the full power of literature and also the musicality in the style that an author can express in a poem or in a novel….Mastering Spanish in a better way than what I am able to, would be really wonderful, in order to read Borges, but also Miguel de Cervantes, Federico García Lorca, Gabriel García Márquez and many others.
E: As a musician who has already touched millions, what do you want your legacy to be? What would you want to be remembered for?
AB: I hope I will be remembered as a good person, one who has decided to stay on the part of good and who is, every day, engaged in living in accordance with his own values eschewing vanity…Because vanity, in its very many facets and implications (arrogance, haughtiness, pride prevarication), is a real scourge for men, it has always haunted us, it is a virus that can be found in all literature and every culture of the world. And to get rid of it we must be vigilant, control our pride, and always pay attention to the way we live our relationships with the others to fight continually this worm that is common to all of us. I would like to be remembered for the optimism that pervades each of my days, for the certainty I have that in every woman, and every man, there are unexplored universes that inside them the positive qualities are such that every day they can really do marvelous things on this earth. As for my profession I hope have made known to a large and diverse audience a repertoire that remains my favorite one, having helped, I hope, in the past years, to bring a breath of fresh air in the Opera world which was going to forget its own popular vocation.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for the February 14th concert, please visit www.andreabocelli.com.