By Iride Aparicio

Andrea Bocelli
Tenor ANDREA BOCELLI  Cinema World Tour       Photo: CINEMA LIVE

SAN JOSÉ, CA –  The “CINEMA WORLD TOUR,” (as the concert tour of Tenor ANDREA  BOCELLI is named because it includes songs from the films of  the American musicals) that was held at the SAP CENTER, in S.J. the evening of  June 3rd,  immersed the audience in the lyric poetry of Operatic Arias and the familiar sounds  of  popular American songs,  masterfully interpreted in the voices of  tenor BOCELLI, and two of  his female Guests Artists, accompanied  San Jose State University Choraliers, one of America’s preeminent chamber choirs under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Benson, and BOCELLI’s orchestra,  conducted by his Music Director EUGENE KOHN.

As if to emphasize his title of “The World’s Most Beloved Tenor”  BOCELLI’s fans came from all over to his concert, some, from as far North, as Canada. Friday’s concert was programmed to start at eight, yet by five o’clock,  the line of people from all ages and from all nationalities, dressed formally and informally, could be seen standing, forming a serpentine, around the SAP Center, as they waited, orderly, to approach the entrance doors.

Inside the Center, and because of the SHARKS game the next day, the stairs showed horizontal paintings of the Sharks, in every step, While, inside the auditorium,  like a crown, all around its floor, a red/orange lighted circle close to the roof, displayed projections of Tenor’s BOCELLI’s  photographs, followed by WELCOME ANDREA BOCELLI, illuminated signs.

The CINEMA WORLD TOUR  started with a Cinema, in this case, a short film projected on the screens located at both sides of the stage. It introduced and described the purpose  the ABF the ANDREA BOCELLI FOUNDATION organized by the tenor. The Foundation will have two programs: “THE BRAKE THE BARRIERS PROGRAM", that will support and promote projects to fight poverty, disease and malnutrition in the weaker section of the population in Italy and developing countries such as Haiti, and the  “The CHALLENGES” program that intends to  bring together the best scientific minds to find solutions that will help those with physical disabilities overcome the limits of their disabilities.  One of the innovations, already being used by the blind, is a computer that helps them  identify objects, and can guide them as they walk.

The ovation that greeted Tenor BOCELLI when entering the stage, lasted a few minutes. It was stopped, only after the orchestra began playing the joyful chords of  the Celebration chorus “Feste, Pane” from the opera LA Gioconda, written by composer AMILCARE PONCHIELLI and the tenor began singing accompanied by the Choraliers Chorus. It was followed by La Donna é Mobile” From VERDIs opera RIGOLETTO

Also from RIGOLETTO, the tenor sang the Love Duet with Guest Stars, Cuban Soprano MARIA ALEIDA. (The soprano, is now a resident artists at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia . She made her company debut in Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence last year performing Elvira en BELLINI’s Il Puritano).  The timbre in the soprano’s voice is exquisite. It is similar to the sound of a fine crystal bell. Full, rich in tonalitis, and vibrant. On that night, her mastery of her vocal instrument allowed her to reach her highest tones with ease without forcing her voice. It was a beautiful sounding duet. According to the program. She was a Soprano Soloist in a world tour alongside tenor BOCELLI.

Andre Bocelli

Tenor ANDREA BOCELLI  Cinema World Tour       Photo: CINEMA LIVE

Her second interpretation was as a soloist, this time, acting as a mechanical doll, singing the Doll song in J. OFFENBACH Opera “The Tales of Hoffmann” ALEIDA played well her roll of a life-size doll that needs to be re-wound on the back by an imaginary key (which Music Director KOHN did) so that she could continue singing. She sang the difficult Aria in character, moving her arms and legs in a mechanical way, with eyes wide open, simulating a doll’s expression on her face.

After two more Arias interpreted by BOCELLI, the turn to sing was given to the violin of CAROLINE CAMPBELL, a violinist soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra among others.  CAMPBELL played the Habanera from BiZET/Sarasate  Opera “CARMEN” as a"Fantasy for the Violin", with her violin playing the voice part (the melody)  accompanied  by the Orchestra. She then played it again increasing the  piece tempo to Prestissimo  (very fast)  without missing a single note, or beat.

On that night, every one of tenor BOCELLI’s Arias received an ovation after he finished singing it. The one that received the longest ovation in this part of the program, however, was BOCELLI and ALEIDA duet  “Che Gelida Manina” from PUCCINI  LA BOHEME, which they sang with projections of falling snow falling over the buildings painted on the stage’s drops, and on the projection around the entire arena. The aria was sung with so much feeling by both singers that the arena got so quiet, that one could hear the breathing of the person sitting next to them.

Andrea Bocelli Live 2016 image.jpg

Tenor BOCELLI singing during  his CINEMA WORLD TOUR

This part ended with “Brindis, Libamo, Libamo” from VERDI’s “La Traviata” with the tenor and ALEIDA, dancing for a few minutes, on the stage.

The Second part of the program,  the CINEMA part,  opened with a Medley of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, showing projections of JULIE ANDREWS running on the Austrian mountains and other still shots from the film. While None of the songs were sang, the Choraliers Hummed the ending song which was “Climb Every Mountain.”

Singing in a well pronounced English, Tenor BOCELLI sang a beautiful rendition of  “The Music of the Night.”  from PHANTOM, which was presented with projections of lighted candelabra all over the stage. It was followed by a mellow-sounding  “Be My Love” showing projections of the late tenor MARIO LANZA.

“The tenor  also sang duets, of other songs with Guest Artist BRANNA WHITAKER (a singer that was discovered at age l6 by Grammy Award winner DAVID FOSTER, who agreed to developed her voice and produce her recording)  The voice of WHITAKER is Powerful. On that night, and as a soloist, she sang “It is Not That Easy Being Green”  from the Musical “WICKED” and several other songs with BOCELLI, that were not duets, because she sang the song as a soloist, with the lyrics in English, and BOCELLI sang the song as a soloist, the second time, singing the song’s lyrics in Italian. Two of the biggest ovations went to “Por Una Cabeza” A tango written by GARDEL, that BOCELLI sang in Spanish, as to his right, a couple danced on stage. And Maria” from West Side Story, which was interpreted with a lot a feeling.

During the Concert, the Tenor announced to the audience the dead of boxer Muhammad Ali and sang ‘Partire” in his honor. The concert was supposed to end with the song “The Prayer” but every time the tenor was to leave the stage the audience applauded and asked for another Encore. There were at least four.

Analyzing what makes ANDREA BOCELLI concerts different from any other concert, classical or popular, one can say that what is unique in his concerts is the reverence that he is given by the audience. When he sings, everybody stops talking, eating, or even moving, and listen to his songs. It is a sort of veneration on their part for his magnificent voice that seems to get better with every passing year. 

If one is sensitive, one can also feel the love vibrations in the air when he sings and people listens. On that night, at the end of the concert, that love was vocalized when mixed with the applause and the VIVAS a femenine loud voice was heard shouting “Tutti noi amiamo si Tenore Bocelli," which translates to: “We all love you Tenor Bocelli."