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Bocelli, Andrea

Andrea Bocelli

Opera singer

Multi-platinum-selling Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli reached a mainstream pop audience with his beautiful operatic renditions, after a film of his live concert in Pisa, Romanza in Concert: A Night in Tuscany, was aired on a PBS fund-raising special at the end of 1997. Since then, Bocelli has aptly catered to both the pop and operatic worlds, appealing to ardent fans of both types of music with his remarkably lovely voice. According to the Boston Herald's Stephen Schaefer, Bocelli has been dubbed the "fourth tenor," the "leading [or singing] Tower of Pisa," and "the most beautiful voice in the world."

Bocelli was already a best-selling pop artist in Europe, with more than ten million copies sold of his debut album, Romanza, and after his exposure through the PBS special, his success in the United States skyrocketed. The PBS production was slated to run only once, but due to its popularity it ran three times. Bocelli's debut album, Romanza, ranked alongside the Titanic soundtrack as one of the two best-selling albums sold during the holidays in 1997, and his second album, Viaggio Italiano, was on top of the Billboard classical charts in early 1998. His roster of fans includes such luminaries as the late Pope John Paul II, Luciano Pavarotti, Isabella Rossellini, Cecilia Bartoli, Julie Andrews, and Madonna. By 1998 Bocelli had performed for the pope on four different occasions. Unlike many of the "crossover" artists in the classical field who often have more success in Europe than in the United States, Bocelli's fame was truly international.

Bocelli was born on September 22, 1958, in the rural farming town of Lajatico, located about 20 miles from Pisa in Italy's Tuscany region. His parents sold farm equipment and grew olives and wine grapes. His family's farm was home to a small vineyard, from which his father, Sandro, still produces Chianti Bocelli. His family members were not especially musical, but they were encouraging when Bocelli displayed an interest in opera music as early as age six. He received piano, flute, and saxophone lessons as a boy. He became totally blind at the age of 12 after hitting his head during a soccer game with friends—Bocelli suffered a brain hemorrhage that resulted in blindness a few days later, and his sight had already been impaired by glaucoma at birth. He told Celestine Bohlen of the New York Times that "I know what colors look like and I have an idea of the world…. I believe we all have a destiny that we can perceive. Mine was singing. I always sang for my friends at school, for birthdays, so I knew inside what my destiny was." Bocelli feels too many people focus on his blindness; he doesn't consider it tragic, and he skis and enjoys horseback riding.

Bocelli went to the University of Pisa and studied law instead of music, but he sang professionally in piano bars while he was in school, which is where he met his wife, Enrica. She was 17 when they met and has told reporters that she first fell in love with Bocelli's voice before falling in love with the man himself. They married in 1992 and had two sons, Amos and Matteo, within five years.

To finance his singing lessons, Bocelli continued to play in piano bars and worked as a lawyer for a year after college. In 1992 Bocelli had his first career break when presented with the opportunity to record "Miserere" (Pity) with the Italian rock star Zucchero Fornaciari, who had originally written the material for Luciano Pavarotti. Bocelli told Bohlen that Pavarotti later heard the recording and "said some nice things about my voice, and since then a lot has happened." The two men became friends, and Bocelli even spent a week at Pavarotti's home. In 1994 Bocelli won first prize at the San Remo Music Festival, viewed by one in every three people in Italy, and the exposure was fortuitous. According to the Wall Street Journal's Matthew Gure-witsch, Bocelli's winning entry, "Il Mare Calmo della Sera," "rose from an intimate, half-murmured rasp to a refrain like a ringing anthem."

In 1995 Bocelli released the single "Con te Partiro," which was immensely popular in Europe. He later re-recorded the single with Sarah Brightman as a duet in English, and its success spread rapidly.

Bocelli prefers singing opera over singing pop music, and studied under Luciano Betterani and Franco Corelli, former trainers for Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. When Alan Niester of the Toronto Globe and Mail asked Bocelli if he enjoyed singing pop music, Bocelli replied, "Not very much, honestly, but I think it's important for many reasons. The first is that pop music has a big, big audience … if one wants to have great popularity … he has to sing these songs. And through the songs it's possible to bring people into the theatres who might not have come any other way." Bocelli has featured pop and canonized material on the same release; on Romanza he included several contemporary songs along with the classical standards "La Donna è: Mobile" and "Nessun Dorma."

Part of Bocelli's appeal is his romantic appearance; he's tall with broad shoulders, a hint of a beard, a gentle, almost self-effacing manner, and a handsome profile. He appears shy when led on stage, and he doesn't take his resounding success seriously. He also has confessed in interviews to having a terror of live performances.

Bocelli's music in the early phases of his career was a hardy blend of opera and popular music. It followed the crossover path cleared in 1990 by the Three Tenors—Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and José Carreras; the only difference being that Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras began in the classical world of opera and moved into the more accessible realm of pop. On the other hand, Bocelli began in piano bars and moved into classical concert halls. During his career Bocelli has performed at Hampton Court Palace near London with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and at the Royal Albert Hall with Sarah Brightman.

The Roman Catholic Church sponsored a concert pairing Bocelli with Bob Dylan in Bologna, Italy, which was attended by Pope John Paul II, and Bocelli has also performed with Bryan Adams. Bocelli's international agent, Craig Stanley, told Bohlen, "He can sing both operatic arias and love ballads with sensitivity. The bedrock is talent, but he also sings with emotion, from the heart."

For the Record …

Born September 22, 1958, in Lajatico, Italy; son of Sandro (a farm equipment retailer and grower of olives and wine grapes); married, 1992; wife's name, Enrica; children: Amos, Matteo. Education: Law degree from the University of Pisa; studied opera under Luciano Betterani and Franco Corelli.

Had first career break with 1992 recording "Miserere" (Pity), with Italian rock star Zucchero Fornaciari; released single "Con Te Partiro," 1995, and Romanza, 1997; released Viaggio Italiano, 1997; released Aria: The Opera Album, 1998; performed for Pope John Paul II four times; appeared in production of opera Werther in Detroit, MI, 2000; recorded Verdi Requiem mass for Philips label, 2001; continued giving operatic performances; recorded Verdi's Il Trovatore (in role of Manrico) for Philips, 2004; recorded Werther for Decca label, 2005; released Amore, 2006.

Awards: San Remo Music Festival, First Prize, for "Il Mare Calmo Della Sera," 1994; Classical Brit Awards, Album of the Year, for Sentimento, 2003.

Addresses: Record company—Philips Music Group, a division of Polygram Classics, Worldwide Plaza, 825 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10019. Website—Andrea Bocelli Official Website: http://www.andreabocelli.com.

Bocelli told Bohlen, "You can't explain success. Success lives by mysterious rules: it comes when it wants and leaves when it wants." As for his future, he told Billboard's Paul Verna and Mark Dezzani, "I have no precise idea what will happen. Each person has his own destiny, and destiny cannot be changed. I hope to arrive at some point in my life where I can sing exactly what I like, but this requires a lot of training." What elates Bocelli most about his success is the fact that there are often young children in the audience listening to his opera music. He told Schaefer, "Of this, I am very proud."

Bocelli's training was in opera, his culture was steeped in a love of opera, and he had a strong desire to be taken seriously as an opera singer. The singer prepared the way with two CD releases that were oriented toward classical vocal material: Aria: The Opera Album in 1998, and Sacred Arias in 1999. He appeared in the lead role of Rodolfo in a production of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème on the Italian island of Sardinia. Then, in 2000, he took the stage at a major theater, the Detroit Opera House, playing the title role in the French opera Werther by Jules Massenet.

Press interest in the event was intense, and Bocelli heightened the publicity impact by announcing that he would donate his fee to the Helppie Institute for Pediatric Health Research. The technical problems associated with mounting a production with a blind singer were easily solved, but reviews of Bocelli's performance were mixed. Opera purists disdained him for his pop success, and listeners and reviewers noted that his voice, which sounded so clear and touching on recordings, was not quite the sort that could fill a hall at high volume. Nevertheless, the appearance went well enough that Bocelli could forge ahead with his classical vocal career. He appeared on a recording of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem in 2001, and on another of Verdi's Il Trovatore in 2004. In 2005 he reprised his Werther role on a Decca compact disc set.

Of the Il Trovatore recording, Allen Schrott wrote in All Music Guide that "it cannot compare with the many fine versions already on the market, and won't satisfy the expectations of those with the sound of Luciano Pavarotti, Jussi Björling, and Franco Corelli in their ears," but he conceded that "for someone who is often accused of being an operatic poseur, he brings a tenacious high C to the end of 'Di quella pira.' You can't fake that." Many opera writers lauded Bocelli's ability to bring new audiences to the venerable art form.

Meanwhile, Bocelli's pop stardom continued without flagging. He even released a short album, Mistero dell' Amore, in conjunction with the Victoria's Secret lingerie chain, highlighting the strong appeal of his long hair and slight five o'clock shadow to female music buyers. In 2006 Bocelli teamed with Celine Dion producer David Foster to record Amore, a collection of love songs from the 1920s to the 1980s, with Italian, Spanish, French, and English examples. "Italy's Andrea Bocelli could probably sing the want ads and make it sound romantic," quipped Ralph Novak in People, and it seemed that one of classical crossover music's most talented voices had established a durable presence on music sales charts.

Selected discography

Romanza, Philips Music Group, 1997.
Viaggio Italiano, Philips Music Group, 1997.
Aria: The Opera Album, Philips Music Group, 1998.
Sogno, Polygram, 1999.
Sueños, Polygram, 1999.
Sacred Arias, Polygram, 1999.
Per Amore, Polydor, 2000.
Cieli di Toscana, Universal, 2001.
Verdi: Requiem, Philips, 2001.
Sentimento, Universal, 2002.
Andrea, Philips, 2004.
Puccini: La Bohème, Decca, 2004.
Verdi: Il Trovatore, Decca, 2004.
Massenet: Werther, 2005.
Amore, Decca, 2006.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, September 13, 1997; December 20, 1997.

Billboard Bulletin, May 23, 2003, p. 1.

Boston Herald, January 27, 1998.

Elle, November 1997.

Gavin, October 3, 1997.

Globe and Mail (Toronto), October 18, 1997.

New York Daily News, January 19, 1998.

New York Observer, October 13, 1997.

New York Times, October 4, 1997.

Opera News, February 2000, p. 36; July 2001, p. 43; August 2003, p. 49; August 2005, p. 57.

People, November 10, 1997; December 20, 2004, p. 50; February 27, 2006, p. 55.

Sensible Sound, June 2001, p. 84.

USA Today, October 8, 1997; January 13, 1998.

Wall Street Journal, December 8, 1997.

Online

"Andrea Bocelli," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (July 15, 2006).

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"Bocelli, Andrea." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Bocelli, Andrea

Andrea Bocelli

Opera singer

For the Record

Played in Piano Bars

Sang for Pope with Bob Dylan

Accepted Talent as Preordained Destiny

Selected discography

Sources

Multi-platinum-selling Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli reached a mainstream pop audience with his beautiful opera renditions after a film of his live concert in Pisa titled Romanza in Concert: A Night in Tuscany was aired on a PBS fund-raising special at the end of 1997. Bocelli aptly caters to both the pop and operatic worlds, appealing to ardent fans of both types of music with his remarkably lovely voice. According to the Boston Heralds Stephen Schaefer, Bocelli has been dubbed the fourth tenor, the leading Tower of Pisa, the singing Tower of Pisa, and the most beautiful voice in the world.

Bocelli was a best-selling pop artist in Europe with more than 10 million copies sold of his debut album, Romanza, and after his exposure through the PBS special, his success in the U.S. skyrocketed. The PBS production was slated to run only once, but due to its popularity it ran three times. Bocellis debut album, Romanza, ranked alongside the Titanic soundtrack as one of the two best-selling holiday albums in 1997, and his second album, Viaggio Italiano, was on top of the Billboard classical charts in early 1998. His roster of fans includes such luminaries as Pope John Paul II, Luciano Pavarotti, Isabella Rossellini, Cecilia Bartoli, Julie Andrews, and Madonna. By 1998, Bocelli had performed for Pope John Paul II on four different occasions.

Bocelli was born on September 22, 1958, in the rural farming town of Lajatico, located about 20 miles from Pisa in Italys Tuscany region. His parents sold farm equipment and grew olives and wine grapes. His familys farm was home to a small vineyard, from which his father, Sandro, still produces Chianti Bocelli. His family members were not especially musical, but they were encouraging when Bocelli displayed an interest in opera music as early as age six. He received piano, flute, and saxophone lessons as a boy. He became totally blind at the age of 12 after hitting his head during a soccer game with friendsBocelli suffered a brain hemorrhage which resulted in blindness a few days later, yet his sight was already impaired from glaucoma at birth. He told Celestine Bohlen of the New York Times, I know what colors look like and I have an idea of the world. I believe we all have a destiny that we can perceive. Mine was singing. I always sang for my friends at school, for birthdays, so I knew inside what my destiny was. Bocelli feels too many people focus on his blindness; he doesnt consider it tragic, and he skis, enjoys horseback riding, and reaches for his own coffee.

Bocelli went to the University of Pisa and studied law instead of music, but he sang professionally in piano bars while a law student, which is where he met his wife, Enrica. She was seventeen when they met and has told

For the Record

Born September 22, 1958, in Lajatico, Italy; father named Sandro; a farm equipment retailer and grower of olives and wine grapes; married Erica Bocelli in 1992; children Amos and Matteo. Education: Law degree from the University of Pisa; worked as a lawyer for a year after college; studied opera under Luciano Betterani and Franco Corelli.

First career break was the 1992 recording Miserere (Pity) with the Italian rock star Zucchero Fornaciari; released the single Con Te Partiro, 1995; Romanza, 1997, which ranked alongside the Titanic soundtrack as one of the two best-selling holiday albums in 1997; released Viaggio Italiano, 1997; released Aria: The Opera Album, 1998; performed for Pope John Paul II four times.

Awards: First prize at the San Remo Music Festival in 1994 for II Mare Calmo Delia Sera.

Address: Record company Philips Music Group, a division of Polygram Classics, Worldwide Plaza, 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019 (212) 333-8237.

reporters that she first fell in love with Bocellis voice before falling in love with him. They married in 1992 and had two sons, Amos and Matteo, within five years.

Played in Piano Bars

To finance singing lessons, Bocelli continued to play in piano bars, and worked as a lawyer for a year after college. In 1992 Bocelli had his first career break when presented with the opportunity to record Miserere (Pity) with the Italian rock star Zucchero Fornaciari, who had originally written the material for Luciano Pavarotti. Bocelli told Bohlen that Pavarotti later heard the recording and, said some nice things about my voice, and since then a lot has happened. The two men became friends, and Bocelli even spent a week at Pavarottis home. In 1994 Bocelli won first prize at the San Remo Music Festival, viewed by one in every three people in Italy and the exposure was fortuitous. According to the Wall Street Journals Matthew Gurewitsch, Bocellis winning entry, II Mare Calmo Della Sera, rose from an intimate, half-murmured rasp to a refrain like a ringing anthem.

In 1995 Bocelli released the single, Con Te Partiro, which was immensely popular in Europe. He later rerecorded the single with Sarah Brightman as a duet in English. It wasnt a commercial song, but when the public finally embraced it, its success spread rapidly.

Bocelli prefers singing opera to pop and studied under Luciano Betterani and Franco Corelli, former trainers for Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. When Alan Niester of the Toronto Globe and Mail asked Bocelli if he enjoyed singing pop music, Bocelli replied, Not very much, honestly, but I think its important for many reasons. The first is that pop music has a big, big audience if one wants to have great popularity he has to sing these songs. And through the songs its possible to bring people into the theatres who might not have come anyotherway. Bocelli has featured pop and canonized material on the same release; in Romanzahe included several contemporary songs along with the classical standards La Donna E Mobile and Nessun Dorma.

Part of Bocellis appeal is his romantic appearance; hes tall with broad shoulders, a hint of a beard, a gentle, almost self-effacing manner, and a handsome profile. He appears shy when led on stage, and he doesnt take his resounding success seriously. He also has confessed in interviews to having a terror of live performances.

Bocellis music is a hardy blend of opera and popular music. It follows the path cleared in 1990 by the Three TenorsLuciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Jose Carreras; the only difference being that Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras began in the classical world of opera and moved into the more accessible realm of pop. On the other hand, Bocelli, began in piano bars and moved into classical concert halls. During his career, Bocelli has performed at Hampton Court Palace near London with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and at the Royal Albert Hall with Sarah Brightman.

Sang for Pope with Bob Dylan

The Roman Catholic Church sponsored a concert pairing Bocelli with Bob Dylan in Bologna, Italy, which was attended by Pope John Paul II, and Bocelli has also performed with Bryan Adams. Bocellis international agent, Craig Stanley, told Bohlen, [He] can sing both operatic arias and love ballads with sensitivity. The bedrock is talent, but he also sings with emotion, from the heart pure, lyrical, good singing. Bocelli has what has been described as a phonogenic voice: a voice best suited for operettas and light songs.

Accepted Talent as Preordained Destiny

He told Bohlen, You cant explain success. Success lives by mysterious rules: it comes when it wants and leaves when it wants. As for his future, he told Billboards Paul Verna and MarkDezzani, I have no precise idea what will happen. Each person has his own destiny, and destiny cannot be changed. I hope to arrive at some point in my life where I can sing exactly what I like, but this requires a lot of training. What elates Bocelli most about his success is the fact that there are often young children in the audience listening to his operamusic. He told the Boston Heralds Stephen Schaefer, Of this, I am very proud. On the PBS special that was aired in the U.S.,Bocelli was on horseback when he said that having a great voice is like owning a great horse, and that great horses come with great problems. He told Gurewitsch, I have no more dreams. Reality has overtaken my dreams.

Selected discography

Romanza, Philips Music Group, 1997.

Viaggio Italiano, Philips Music Group, 1997.

Aria: The Opera Album, Philips Music Group, 1998.

Sources

Billboard, September 13, 1997; December 20, 1997.

Boston Herald, January 27, 1998.

Elle, November 1997.

Gavin, October 3, 1997.

New York Daily News, January 19, 1998.

New York Observer, October 13, 1997.

New York Times, October 4, 1997.

People, November 10, 1997.

Globe and Mail (Toronto), October 18, 1997.

USA Today, October 8, 1997; January 13, 1998.

Wall Street Journal, December 8, 1997.

B. Kimberly Taylor

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Bocelli, Andrea

ANDREA BOCELLI

Born: Lajatico, Italy, 22 September 1958

Genre: Classical


The world has long had a fascination with the celebrity tenor. Dashing voices from Enrico Caruso to Mario Lanza to Luciano Pavarotti have captured the popular imagination. A worthy addition to that list is the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who, in the 1990s, established himself as an international singing sensation with a repertoire of classical and soft pop songs.

Born in Tuscany, he grew up in a close-knit farming community, studying piano, flute, and saxophone and listening to opera. At the age of twelve, he lost his sight because of glaucoma and a soccer accident. He studied law at the University of Pisa and, for a year after graduation, practiced as a defense attorney before deciding to quit and pursue music full time. He approached the renowned tenor Franco Corelli for lessons and supported himself playing piano and singing in bars and nightclubs. It was in one of these clubs that he met his future wife, Enrica.

In 1992 he auditioned for Italian pop star Zucchero, who was looking for a tenor to make an audition tape of his duet "Miserare" in an attempt to convince Pavarotti to record it. Convinced by the demo, Pavarotti sang on the recording, and it became a hit in Europe. For the next Zucchero tour, Bocelli was hired to sing the song, and he took over a solo spot in the show.

Pavarotti invited Bocelli to sing with him at his annual charity gala, and this performance led to a series of appearances and TV broadcasts across Europe. In 1994 Bocelli won the top prize in the popular San Remo Song Festival; his performance of the song "Il Mare Calmo della Sera" made him a sensation. His debut album, Il Mare Calmo della Sera, was the first in a series of pop hits, and led to Bocelli, his follow-up album.

His breakout European hits were "Con Te Partiro" and a duet arrangement of the same song with Sarah Brightman, "Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)." The solo version topped the French pop charts, and the duet sold 3 million copies in Germany, sitting atop the pop charts there for fourteen weeks.

The album Romanza (1996) became a hit in Europe and the United States, selling 15 million copies. After Sogno was released in 1999, Bocelli had four albums on the U.S. pop charts at one time; he became the first artist since Garth Brooks in 1992 to accomplish the feat. His duets with Celine Dion at the Grammys and Academy Awards launched sold-out tours of the United States. In 2000 Bocelli sang at the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower, and the base of the Statue of Liberty. He also sang the official concert of the Euro 2000 soccer tournament in Rotterdam and helped carry the Olympic torch into Sydney Harbor.

Although secure in his success in the pop world, Bocelli has craved legitimacy in the classical realm as well. In the late 1990s he released a series of classical recordings: Viaggio Italiano (1997), a collection of popular arias and Neapolitan songs; Aria (1998); and Sacred Arias (1999). Each was a best-seller, and for a while, these albums occupied the top three top spots on the classical charts.

The classical music press has been less kind to Bocelli than his legions of fans. His voice, unamplified, is not very large and has trouble filling a concert hall without a microphone. His voice can produce a gorgeous tone, and his sincerity and emotive ability are impressive. But he is stylistically unsophisticated, his phrasing is clumsy, and his early attempts to sing operaa Verdi album, a recording of La Bohème, and a performance in Detroit of Werther have elicited mostly negative critical reviews.

Critical reservations notwithstanding, Bocelli commands the unflagging loyalty of a mass of paying customers: He has sold more than 40 million CDs, is the top-selling classical artist of the 1990s, sells out his tours, and has inspired fans in a way that few pure classical artists have.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Romanza (Philips, 1997); Viaggio Italiano (Philips, 1998); Sogno (Philips, 1999).

WEBSITE:

www.bocellionline.com; www.andreabocelli.com.

douglas mclennan

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"Bocelli, Andrea." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/bocelli-andrea