Music News & Reviews

Andrea Bocelli brings message of love to Sacramento

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli practices daily to prepare for his many concerts.
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli practices daily to prepare for his many concerts.

He sings the music of love and much more. That will make for a long-awaited romantic evening at Sleep Train Arena.

Famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli has won fans and hearts worldwide with his rich voice and moving melodies. Wednesday, he performs in Sacramento for the first time in almost a decade.

Bocelli arrives here fresh off a Sunday concert at the Hollywood Bowl on his way to Vancouver, Canada, for another show. His local date, his first since 2006, is part of a three-date swing up the West Coast before returning to his native Italy for a summer concert schedule.

On this abbreviated tour, he’ll be accompanied by a full orchestra and guests, including Cuban soprano Maria Aleida, violinist Caroline Campbell and flautist Andrea Griminelli. Bocelli credits his wife and manager, Veronica, for making everything run smoothly.

Bocelli, who has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide, has built his career on love.

“I have spent my whole life evoking and honoring, through singing, the strength and the beauty of love,” he has said. “In love and in all its forms, I find my inspiration, and not only on a professional level. As I have already said many times, love is the feeling that motivates all life; it is the engine of the world and its fire.”

Blind since age 12, Bocelli captivates audiences with his memorable voice. In Sacramento, his fans will hear a mix of operatic favorites as well as Bocelli hits and perhaps some new works, too.

He recently spent a few minutes on the phone in an interview with The Sacramento Bee.

Q: You’re literally all over the world in June from the Hollywood Bowl to Sacramento to Canada to Italy. How do you do it?

A: Well, indeed such tight concert rhythms and the continuous traveling that the concert schedule requires, may appear difficult to sustain. Yet, this month of June, for me, is not particularly different from the other months of the year. By now, I have got used to having my luggage ready and within such tight engagements, I have also managed to have some oases of relaxation, finding a balance that allows me not to be overwhelmed by work. … I am lucky enough to face every tour together with my partner in life and work, Veronica, and with a team which has been the same for many years now and that contributes to make every step of my long journeys more familiar. I try to optimize the breaks, I read a lot when I am in my dressing room, or I write poems and aphorisms, in order not to give in to laziness.

Q: Is there a theme to your Sacramento show?

A: The first part will be devoted to an exclusively operatic repertoire, then there will be popular romanzas and songs that my public expects to hear from my voice. Maybe that in Sacramento I will also sing some excerpts from my new album, due out later this year, but I cannot say more than this.

Q: How do you maintain your stamina and health? How do you maintain your voice?

A: I practice every day. The day I stop studying, I will not be anymore a singer! … When I am not on a tour, I try to lead a regular life, as far as possible. I do a lot of sports; I love boating, swimming and above all (horseback) riding. ... Finally, though making some exceptions to the rule, I follow a very strict food program, like an athlete. We singers are artists but also athletes; our musical instrument is a complex and delicate system where many muscles are called upon to interact.

Q: How do you choose your duet partners? Who are your favorites?

A: To mention one, on the pop side, I think of Celine Dion, a great professional, but also a simple person, who loves her work. In the field of opera, I remember the times when I had the privilege to sing with Luciano Pavarotti and with Placido Domingo.

There is not a “method” to find an artist to sing a duet with; every time it is an exciting bet. The voice is the mirror of the soul, songs tell about the inner world. Singing a song – if the partner chosen is the right one – may result in an artistic meeting which will flourish giving personality and new perspectives to the song performed.

Q: You sing so many different genres from pop to classical. How do you choose what to sing?

Good music is the one that, even if more difficult to approach … slowly enters inside you and it helps you to grow spiritually, making you feel better. Both in pop and in classical music, every piece has to me its own special story. It can arouse particular emotions and many memories. To succeed in performing a song at best, I have to make it mine, to believe in it. In one word, I must love it. … And every time, inevitably, it becomes my favorite one!

Debbie Arrington: (916) 321-1075, @debarrington

Andrea Bocelli in concert

  • Where: Sleep Train Arena, 1 Sports Parkway, Sacramento
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Tickets: $81.25-$375.25
  • Details: www.ticketmaster.com
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