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Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli was born in Laiatico the 22 of september 1958, he is now the most famous opera singer in italy. People became aware of him during his world tour Wit an other Italian Singer, Zucchero Fornaciari in 1992. In 1994 the tenor win the Italian festival of Sanremo With: Con te Partiro. In a short time Bocelli became one of the most famous Italian singer also thanks to his duet with Sara Brightman in: time to say goodbye.

Full Discography

Il Mare Calmo Della Sera (1994) Sugar
Viaggio Italiano (1995) Sugar
Bocelli (1995) Sugar
Butterfly (Kate) (Zenîmafeat. Andrea Bocelli) - inedito(1996) Bmg/Sugar
Romanza (1996) Sugar
A Night In Tuscany (1997) Sugar
Aria, The Opera Album (1998) Sugar
Sacred Arias (1999) Sugar
Sogno (1999) Sugar
Arie sacre (2000) Sugar
La Boheme (2000) Sugar
Verdi (2000) Sugar
Statue Of Liberty Concert (2000) Sugar
Cieli Di Toscana (2001) Sugar
Requiem (2001) Sugar
Sentimento (2002) Sugar
The Homecoming (2002) Sugar
Tosca (2003) Sugar
Andrea (2004) Sugar

On September 22nd, 1958, a son was born to Alessandro and Eddi Bocelli in Lajatico, a farming community in Tuscany, Italy. The couple named the baby Andrea.

The boy seemed destined to live out a life of hardship and deprivation. He was born with glaucoma, a visual impairment for which doctors held out no hope. The Bocellis were told that as he grew older, Andrea would become blind. He had his first eye operation when he was just six months old, and twenty-six more were to follow.

Yet, neither Andrea nor his parents ever lost zest. Eddi Bocelli would not allow any tinge of pity to smear her son. Andrea drew strength from the teaching of his parents and the traditions of his native region, and never let disability or disappointment be a hindrance to achievement.

It was while he was in hospital that his mother first noticed Andrea’s predilection for music. A patient in an adjoining room listened to classical music continuously, and Andrea seemed fascinated by the sounds coming from the other side of the wall. Eddi herself hails from a highly musical family, and Andrea’s reaction was no surprise.

The child’s sight steadily deteriorated, until a tragic accident at school accelerated the inevitable and Andrea became blind when he was just 12 years old.

But Andrea grew up disregarding his blindness, and even now does not discuss it. In his childhood and youth, he was conscious only of an abiding passion for music. He cannot say when it first began, but remembers being asked to sing for relatives even when very young. “I don't think one really decides to be a singer - other people decide it for you by their reactions", he says modestly.

His parents sent him for formal piano lessons when he was six years old. He was playing the organ for his church when he was just seven. Andrea went on to learn the flute and the saxophone. He fell in love with the opera at an early age and dreamed of becoming a great tenor like Del Monaco, Gigli and Corelli.

As a teenager, Andrea won several music competitions, but the reality of life edged out dreams. He enrolled at the University of Pisa and graduated as a Doctor of Law. He practiced as a court-appointed lawyer for one year.

It was during this time that he heard that his idol Franco Corelli was taking master classes for singers. Andrea approached him and the legendary singer agreed to take him on. In a bid to make his childhood dream come true, Andrea bowed out of the Courts of Italy for good. He began performing in piano bars and clubs at night to meet the expenses of studying music by day.

Then, in 1992 a shot in the dark catapulted Andrea from piano bar performer to international superstardom. He auditioned for Italian rock legend Zucchero, who wanted to make a demo tape of the duet “Miserere” in order to persuade Luciano Pavarotti to record the song. Zucchero was floored by Andrea’s talent, and recognized that the singer possessed that rare quality of a star -- a soul. Pavarotti, when he heard the tape, was similarly captivated, and felt no one was better suited for the part than Bocelli. It took all Zucchero’s skills to persuade him to do the song.

“Miserere” was a smash hit, and, during a tour of Europe, Zucchero asked Bocelli to perform live in Pavarotti’s place. The response was tremendous.

In 1993, Caterina Caselli Sugar, president of Sugar label, one of Italy’s best-known music companies, heard Andrea sing at a private party and was deeply impressed. She suggested that he record an unpublished composition called "Il Mare Calmo Della Sera". So began his recording career.

Andrea was invited to the annual "San Remo Song Festival", which attracts tremendous attention from the Italian media and public, and won the preliminary contest with a record score. He went on to win the "New Acts" competition in 1994.

His debut album was released immediately and climbed to the top of the charts, as did the follow-up, “Bocelli”.

The single, Con Te Partiro, featured on "Bocelli" topped the charts in France for six weeks, earning a triple Gold sales award, and in Belgium the single became the biggest hit of all time, staying at first place for 12 weeks. "Bocelli" was awarded Platinum status in all territories of release, including Germany, Holland and Italy itself.

In November 1996, Sarah Brightman, a soprano of international repute, heard Con te Partiro and was captivated. She contacted Andrea and together they re-recorded the song as a duet, “Time to Say Goodbye”, with members of the London Symphony Orchestra. They performed live at the farewell contest of the German World Light-Heavyweight boxing champion, Henry Maske, and, as the German public bid adieu to their hero, the arena was filled with “Time to Say Goodbye”. The single rocketed to the top slot, where it stayed for 14 weeks and became an all-time best seller.

“Viaggio Italiano” under the Sugar banner was released in 1995.

Andrea Bocelli went international with "Romanza", in 1997, and the music transcended language barriers to speak straight to the hearts of listeners in Europe and beyond. It also emphasized Andrea’s contribution to the immortal Italian melodramatic tradition.

In 1998, his debut international classical disc, "Aria" dominated charts once again. That same year, he stormed the United States of America, beginning with a concert at the John F Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts.

"Sogno" (Dreams), released in 1999, sold over 4 million copies in just a couple months, testifying to the power of his voice to overcome limitations of language and culture. Its theme is strength, the strength that overcomes life’s difficulties and sufferings, the strength that lets you believe in your capabilities, and makes you survive.

“Sacred Arias” was released the same year.

Alongside his career in popular music, Andrea has pursued his passion for opera and is largely responsible for the revival of the genre and its popularization among the younger generation. The modern tenor who sings in the old style, as he likes to say of himself, made his stage debut in Verdi’s “Macbeth” in 1994. He has since released four complete operas:”La Boheme”, “Il Trovatore”, “Werther” and “Tosca”.

He has sung for the Pope (John Paul II), for the President (Bill Clinton of the USA) and for ordinary folk. He has performed live on stage and in recording studios, for movies and for CDs. He has won national and international recognition, including two Music World awards.

Not conent with being an extraordinary singer, Bocelli is also writer and music producer. He has sung for many charitable events, including the "Pavarotti & Friends for Children" shows and the Sharon Osbourne CD project for tsunami relief. He has authored several works, including the semi-autobiographical “The Music of Silence”, and the foreword to an Italian book about shared custody. (He is seperated from his wife Enrica, with whom he has two sons.)

Clear, precise diction and a voice tinged with subtle melancholy are distinctive features of the unique talent that is Andrea Bocelli.

When an interviewer once asked if his blindness had contributed to his popularity, Bocelli replied “I can assume people have a certain kindness to me and pay much more attention to me than to other singers, but I wish to be considered for the songs I sing. I have always tried to live a good life, not caring too much about such things.”

With the French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, he believes that "You see clearly only through your heart. The essential is invisible to your eyes."

Andrea Bocelli is now firmly established on the musical firmament, and it’s nowhere near time to say goodbye