Andrea Bocelli looks forward to sharing the stage with Pinoy artists

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One thing the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli loves about being on tour is that it gives him the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. In Manila, where the singer held a concert in 2004, what struck him most were the fans’ warmth and “love for sacred music.”

“I have wonderful memories of the audience and of the country. The people there were very warm, attentive and responsive to the songs from ‘Sacred Arias’ (his bestselling album)… I look forward to coming back,” Bocelli, who spoke alternately in English and Italian, told the Inquirer in a brief phone interview aided by an interpreter.

The classical crossover artist, who has released 14 solo studio albums and sold around 80 million records worldwide, is set to take the stage at SM Mall of Asia Arena on April 26, as part of his ongoing “Cinema” world tour, which was launched in support of his latest album of the same title.

In his Manila show, the 57-year-old recording artist will be accompanied by Mexican lyric soprano Maria Katzarava, Italian flutist Andrea Griminelli, as well as some Filipino musical acts like the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ateneo Chamber Orchestra and West End singer-actress Christine Allado.

The show, mounted by local promoter Music Management International, will feature beloved pieces and arias from “beautiful Italian operas,” as well as choice cuts from his new album, which is dedicated to iconic movie themes.


“I’m always eager and looking forward to sharing the stage with wonderful local artists. And I’m open to whatever that may come along,” said Bocelli, who sang with Filipino artist Charice in a 2008 concert in Lajatico, Italy, his birth place.

Rendered completely blind after a football accident when he was 12, Bocelli found solace in listening to the classical music records his mother used to play. Since then, the genre has been his “passion and heart.” “I would love to do it, as long as my voice is in good shape,” he said.

Still, Bocelli enjoys other types of music, including pop. “I do listen to it on the radio, when I’m in the car… There are moments when I feel like listening to it,” said Bocelli, who has, in fact, collaborated with not a few pop singers in his career - Ariana Grande being one of the more recent ones.

His most cherished collaboration, however, remains his duet of “The Prayer” with Celine Dion, whom Bocelli described as “a good friend.” “I have been very fortunate to work and sing with some of the best singers in the world. And I particularly love that one,” Bocelli said.

With whom does he want to perform next? “It’s difficult to say,” he said. “But the world is full of wonderful voices; a new artist comes out every day.”

Meanwhile, asked if he has ever thought of acting in a movie - since his concert tour is focused on popular hits from films - Bocelli retorted with rapid, “No, no, no,” which made the interpreter chuckle a bit. “I don’t think so. I’ve never done it. And maybe it’s too late!” he said. Inquirer.net

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