Andrea Bocelli’s big break came when his demo tape landed in the hands of Luciano Pavarotti in 1992. He was chosen to sing “Miserere” with Pavarotti, and the rest is history as they say. In 1997 he recorded “Time to Say Goodbye” with Sarah Brightman; a song now widely famous. The song sold over 12 million copies, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. In 1999 he became the first artist to hold the top three spots on the US classical album charts in November 1999. But his success doesn’t lie in the 90s.
On Bocelli’s 2013 album, he had collaborations with Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado; two mainstream pop princesses. As recent as last year he did duet’s with Ariana Grande and Nicole Scherzinger which gained mainstream coverage. Their performances can be found on YouTube, lending a new audience to both artists! Bocelli even performed at the Leicester City trophy celebrations in 2016.
Every year since 2006, Bocelli performs a special concert at the outdoor Teatro del Silenzio in his hometown of Lajatico, Tuscany. Every year Bocelli has some special guests to help make the night special, including conductors, pianists and other singers.
Andrea Bocelli was accompanied in performances by Paola Sanguinetti, who has had many title roles in operas, and Gianfranco Montresor, a well renowned baritone. The chorus was sung by Pisana, the Italian Philharmonic Orchestra performed the music and Marcello Rota conducted.
This year’s concert included performances from pianist Lang Lang, trumpeter Chris Botti, saxophonist Kenny G, singers Laura Pausini, Elisa, Sarah Brightman, and Heather Headley, conductor Bill Ross, the special guest was 14-time Grammy Award winning David Foster! Performances from Bocelli included Con te partirò, Vivo per lei, Il Mare Calmo della Sera, and The Prayer.
For 2009, eight sculptures, by Hans Peter Ditzler, were placed at the theatre. Among Bocelli's guests were opera legend Plácido Domingo, with whom he sang Nessun Dorma from Puccini's Turandot and a duet from The Pearl Fishers. Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins, was also included in the line-up, together they performed "Time to Say Goodbye".
Sculptures by Swiss artist Kurt Laurenz Metzler, who attended the concert, were exhibited during the 2010 edition of the concert. Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, who was also in attendance, donated a Bronze statue she had made of Bocelli, to the city of Lajatico. This year the attendance of the concert doubled to 10,000 guests. Including one of the two surviving member of The Three Tenors, Spanish Catalan tenor, José Carreras, and Italian rock singer, Zucchero.
He was also awarded the Pisano Doc, during the dress rehearsal for the concert, July 24, "in recognition for a great citizen, who with his extraordinary art and his humanity brings great prestige, honour and respect to the city of Pisa."
The 2013 performance included a cover of "Love Me Tender" initially performed by Elvis Presley and Italian renditions of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose". Guests included tenor Riccardo Cocciante. In what has become tradition, Andrea Bocelli performed "Time to Say Goodbye" at the end of the concert.
This year's show is called "Le Cirque" and will be made up of the world's most famous opera arias with an awesome stage show of colours and backdrops transporting you to the most entrancing shows of all time - the circus! The guest performers are kept as a surprise until the night of the concert – so we’ll have to wait until then to find out!
It’s safe to say though, that the concert in Lajatico is never a dull night!