On this particularly magical MIAMI night of this past Thursday, February 14th, a day when love and romance fills the air, at the American Airlines Arena, men wore their best suits and women in long sweeping gowns, hair done, full makeup and jewels, all of this to welcome on stage one of MIAMI’S most beloved part-time resident and internationally well-known star, the none other than, the famous singer, Andrea Bocelli.
The Italian “i l maestro” (“the master” as Bocelli is referred to in his native Italy), before an Arena filled, every seat taken, the great Tenor delighted the adoring crowd and graced his beloved fans with his presence and with each rhythmic note he sang. Every word he sang was like a Valentine’s Day gift of love to everyone present. He gifted everyone personally with his love of music and he shared his love with thousands without holding anything back.
Bocelli’s gilded voice is so pure and angelic that Celine Dion once said, “if God would have a singing voice, he must sound like Andrea Bocelli.”Dion’s quote was by no means an exaggeration, he sounded simply put; celestial. The minute he walked out on stage and belted his first operatic song everyone was breathless with excitement.
The night's extravaganza included, a song he sang with great passion and such deep emotion that it quite literally made me weep which was the iconic song, “Ave Maria”. Having always loved the song for its devotion for the mother of Christ, regardless if you are a believer or not, the song is captivating and sort of enchanting, it seems to sink in to your soul, and bury itself in to one’s heart. The song Undeniably stirs up the emotions of even the most hardened person. Well as they say, the proof is in the pudding, when Bocelli sang it you could hear a pin drop between lyrics. Very few songs have that effect on people and of course the history of the song has everything to do with it. The first line of the song was taken from the Bible precisely from The Book of Luke in chapter one and verse twenty-eight. The powerful words were enough to inspire a poem by Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake. And,soon after the unforgettable composer, Franz Schubert in 1825 added the music to make it the masterpiece it is today, and practically The Catholic Church’s adopted anthem. Religion aside, the song and the way Bocelli sang it on the night of love and romance made me sit-up in complete attention, and I hypnotically listened to his rendition. I was left completely awed and mesmerized by the way he breathed new life and true emotion to a song I’ve heard many times. After he finished, I sat motionless, with tears in my eyes, and a flesh filled with goosebumps and what felt like endless waves of chills moving through my body. This was my favorite of the night’s performances and for me the best part of what was to be a spectacular night.
FollowingBocelli andguiding his every word sang with great care either by instrument, vocals or by interpretative dance, was quite a company of stellar singers, dancers, composers, musicians, a conductor and an assorted list of A-list entertainers too many to count. Onemight easily call them stars even if the moniker didn’t quite fitthem by popular opinion as well as the word befits Bocelli. However, in my humble opinion they were too exquisite to be called anything lesseven if for just one night. They accompanied him with such synchronicity and fluidity it was as if they were born to perform with him. The night was unbelievably harmonious (pun intended), the arena was in utter disbelief, the audience appeared to have a look that compared to that look in a child’s face on Christmas morning right before they unwrapped their first gift. The excitement in the air was electrifying, people cheered after every song and screamed (“BRAVO!”) without shame or reservation. Theapplause Bocelli garnered at every pause was thunderous. It was a concert seemingly exclusively planned for Bocelli’s most devoted fans. Mostly it was my love for classical music of yesteryear that made me happy to attend and sung by him was the icing on a very delicious cake. We all felt very fortunate to be there listening in completesilence and hear what silk and satin would sound like if they could sing.
No question, Bocelli surely brought to life classical music on this unforgettable warm, sexy and sultry romantic Miami night. No detail of the night’s dazzle was spared not a second went unplanned. He was ever so masterfully led by opera’s “golden age” star conductor, Eugene Kohn. The Choir, Master Chorale of South Florida, and a symphony (every pun intended) of great musicians. One couldn’t help wondering if the night was truly and enchanted evening. Andrea took us through a repertoire of his favorite operatic pieces. He was accompanied by the glamorous and talented artist, the Soprano Larisa Martinez and the vocalist Pia Toscano with her liquid voiceso clear, it seemed to sound transparent. Also, Including and certainly not forgotten, was a stand-out surprise. Bocelli introduced to the stage and to his adoring and surprised fans his son, Matteo Bocelli. At only 21 he was delightful, charming, handsome, and, as talented a singer as his father. You could almost hear the coquettish fluttering of hundreds of press-on eyelashes of every teenage girl in the room. Bocelli and his easy-on-the-eyes (no pun intended) son and young protégé both sang a duet, the apropostune was an interpretation in English and Italian, of the song Perfect by Ed Sheeran.
I’d be remiss to forget to mention the much-celebrated violinist virtuoso, Caroline Campbell. She filled us with emotion with every purposeful stroke of her bow on those strings. Shewas delightful. And how to forget the dancers? Brittany O’Connor and Yordy Caballero, a dancing dynamic part of the evenings fiery shimmer. They danced with such grace whilst moving with an added splash of spice. They moved magnificently and were an integral part of what I had expected to be a night to remember. Brittany O’Connorwas the embodiment of all elegance as she moved faithfully to the beat of the music. Shekept us captivated. The brilliant choreography of Jordi Caballero was saturated with his usual impressive style, there is no question in my mind that we connected with the music through their commanding artistic dance interpretations, moving to the beat with such keen sense of rhythm, they elevated the music through their performance and Bocellihimself to new levels.
When one thinks of Bocelli its easy to forget that he is blind, because, ironically through the communicative powers of music,and his immense talent of authentically portraying the true raw feelings of the characters he sings about, he’s able to breathe life in to lyrics so vividly,and almost palpable emotions that we can practically see the story he sings. He is masterful with his interpretations of songs and he has a wonderful gift of making the emotions seem real. So real in fact that you can see vividlythe story line of any song he sings.They say that when you lose your eyesight your other senses are heightened. Much like Beethoven,Bocelli lost his sight a few years after his teens.Andrea, at the loss of his sight he sought console and comfort in his vocal talents. His parents encouraged, supported andinspired him to sing, and thereby his desire to sing grew from the sadness suffered of the loss of sight. His parents taught him not to dwell on the negative and made him see that he could walk without the use of a cane on a road of his own imagination. The road his imagination paved was paved with gold bricks because today he is an international star. Bocelli’s parents helped him to harness the power of his talent,schooled him vocally with the best vocal coaches in Italy and helped him overcome his challenges. Because of this and his dedication to perfecting his craft Bocelli became wildly successful. He has been reached and moved the entire world, and has transcended in to different singing styles.
Bocelli wasalso able tocrossover into mainstream international pop success withstar-studded duets. Bocelli sang with (only to mention a few) the living legend and incomparable Barbra Streisand. The French Canadian with the voice of a goddess herself, Celine Dion.He then gravitated to more mainstream singer's like the sizzlingJennifer Lopez and the pop star sensation Ariana Grande. His collaborations with some of the world’s most popular musical stars have ensured he’s stayed on top of both pop and classical music charts. His 1996 duet with this lady and singing sensation English soprano Sarah Brightman, for the song, “Time to Say Goodbye” for instance, sold more than 12 million copies, and is still one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Bocellidemonstrated on this magical night that his enthusiasm and talent was truly a gift he would share with the world. On this glorious Valentines night passed, thankfully, he shares an evening with us and made our hearts fill with love through the sound of his amazing voice. I don’t think you decide to be a famous singer. I think it is decided for you... Thank God, the Universe, decided in favor of Bocelli. The world wouldbe a dark and colorless place without his magnificent voice, very much like his eyesight.