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Dec 5, 2013

Exclusive Interview With Andrea Bocelli, Part 1

By Ben York
Posted: Dec. 5, 2013

With one of the most recognizable voices in music, Andrea Bocelli is a global icon who continues to defy categorization bringing his music to millions world-wide.

Indeed, his concert at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Sunday, December 8 should not be missed.

Bocelli has received rave reviews throughout his sold-out U.S. tours as an artist showing confidence and mastery in both classical and pop worlds. “His tone was smooth and brimmed with emotion…he owned Madison Square Garden,” celebrated the New York Post. The Sun Sentinel concurred stating, “Bocelli’s singing moves people…He brought suave phrasing and affecting emotion to an arrangement of Italian songs.” The Hollywood Reporter rejoiced, “It was a triumphant appearance.”

Read our exclusive interview with the legendary tenor below where he discusses life on the road, his favorite person to sing to and his love of performing. What is one word you would use to describe the feeling you get right before performing? Why?

Andrea Bocelli: The word is “stress”: every time I get on stage I am always a bit tense…You must know how to live with it! After all, I think that to feel excited is a legitimate feeling, when you have a great respect for music and for your public. Public made of people who have decided to spend a little of their precious time, to listen to you. Once I am in front of the audience I have to face two types of emotion. The one that keeps you motivated and gives you a state of almost happiness, and the negative emotion, the one that subtracts your strength. The main thing is to give room to the first one and neutralize the second one. However, to counterbalance tension it is good to know that I have done my duty, and that I have a clear conscience.

USAC: Of all the songs you sing, do you have a favorite verse or line?

Bocelli: “My Way”, whose melody remains engraved in your soul, a song that boosts a powerful identifying process, able to give everybody the impression that the song is talking of them…. It is impossible not to, subscribe an ideal pact of complicity with this song. Equally leveled for me is, “La Vie en Rose”, another masterpiece which I am very fond of, but also “September Morn”, whose highly successful melodic line of the chorus brings to my memory the time when I was only twenty. Sometimes I happened to spend the evening with girls of my age, who I usually fell deeply in love with. Finally an Italian melody “Voglio vivere così”, because it is a hymn to the joy of living, it is an explosion of cheerfulness like fireworks, it is an emblem of the Italian popular culture And it does not get old, even if it is around three quarters of a century old.

USAC: What is a typical day like before you go on stage?

Bocelli: When I am on a tour, between one concert and the other, I try to spend my time in isolation. I avoid drinking wine, coffee and other pleasant things. I follow the diet of an athlete; and I try to keep as concentrated as possible. For the whole day of the exhibition I try to spend my time in isolation and I observe a strict silence, putting into practice what my great master Franco Corelli indicated as an essential precaution for a singer before performing. Sometimes it is a sacrifice (for me, but also for those who are close to me) not so easy to carry out, but I think it is a gesture of respect; it is something I owe to my public. Before concerts, I study, read or write I myself, (I have written most part of the book “The music of silence” in theater dressing rooms), not to give in to laziness and to keep my brain fit. Doing so, I try to offer my voice at its best.

USAC: Paint us a picture: You’ve just come off tour and you have several nights to rest. What is the first thing you do?

Bocelli: I would bring all my family together. We would have dinner together, in the best restaurant I know of, that is at home, thanks to the cooking of Mariella, who is in charge of providing foodstuffs for our large, extended, family. Soon after, especially if, at table, we had been joined by friends, we would surely get close to the grand piano, in the dining room, to spend cheerfully the rest of the evening making music together. I would also try as soon as possible to ride one of my horses in the Era Valley, breathing, once more, the fragrance and the silence of my lands.

Check back on Friday, Dec. 6 for the second part of our interview.