WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2015 – Metro DC residents have a chance to kick off their holiday season with a song by winning free tickets to see pop and opera singer Andrea Bocelli Sunday evening at the Verizon Center.
Bocelli is a crossover artist who bridges classic opera with popular song, sharing his love for both with his audience; however, it is his tenor voice that holds the audience and reaches to the heart, leaving goosebumps on your skin.
His appearance in 2014, in support of his release “Love in Portofino and Passione,” included a variety of enjoyably recognizable songs from both pop music and opera: “O paradis,” the Act IV aria from Giacomo Meyerbeer’s neglected masterpiece “L’africaine.”
Other classical renditions included “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” followed by selections with soprano Svetla Vassileva that included other Verdi operas: “I Lombardi,” “Sicilian Vespers,” “Don Pasquale,” and “La Traviata.”
At the 2014 concert, attendees were treated to duets with Ms. Vassieleva, including the opening love scene between Rodolfo and Mimi from Puccini’s “La Bohème” and the ravishing final duet, “Nuit d’hyménée” (“O marriage night”) from Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette.”
In addition to songs from his own recordings, the post-holiday crowd also enjoyed Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” featuring Mr. Bocelli not only as vocal soloist, but as a surprisingly good flutist as well.
For fun, and a bit of levity, Mr. Bocelli brought out his American accent to perform the Elvis classic, “Love Me Tender.”
As this appearance is right in the middle of the holiday, concert goers may also be treated to “Adeste Fidelis” (“O Come, All Ye Faithful”).
Born in Tuscany, Italy, Andrea Bocelli was visually impaired from birth and became permanently blind at the age of 12 following a soccer injury. As a young child, he mastered the piano, flute and saxophone, eventually taking lessons from Franco Corelli; Bocelli’s ‘break” came when operas leading tenor and composer Luciano Pavarotti became aware of the talented tenor, and they recorded “Miserere” together.
From there Bocelli would go on to become the most successful classical solo artist in history, selling over 80 million albums worldwide.
Tavis Smiley, of PBS.org, interviews the artist here:
Andrea Bocelli’s latest musical release is “Cinema,” a tribute to some of the greatest songs from the world of film. The above video is Mr. Bocelli signing E Più Ti Penso” from “Once Upon A Time In America,” in duet with pop star Arianna Grande