Andrea Bocelli gave a wonderful performance Friday night in
Chicago. I am convinced that his voice just keeps getting better
and better! So rich, pure, vibrant, passionate! Of the four
concerts I've attended this was definitely my favorite, without
a doubt. I don't know if the Mercurio effect made the difference
(more about him later) or if it's just Andrea's maturing, but he
continues to amaze me with the power and depth of emotion that
he is able to express through his voice. He is the only
performer that can move me to tears one moment and total joy the
next. There just aren't enough "Bravos" to express how I feel
about his singing.
Some highlights for me:
Mia madre, la mia vecchia madre, from Fedora by
I realized Friday night that as long as Andrea Bocelli continues
to perform new music I will never become tired of hearing him
sing. Each new song reveals another layer, another facet of his
incredible voice. This was a very emotional piece and I thought
it was beautifully crafted and interpreted by Andrea. Once again
he demonstrated his amazing depth and versatility. It just gave
me chills listening to him perform this.
Here is a link to the lyrics:
Viene la sera, from Madame Butterfly by Giacomo
This wonderful duet sung by Andrea and Ana Maria Martinez made
me envy those who will be attending Madame Butterfly in Italy
this summer. I would also love to see them perform this opera
together--Ana Maria would be a lovely Butterfly. As always their
voices blended beautifully. The thrilling ending brought people
to their feet in a rousing ovation, drowning out the orchestra
as they finished playing. I felt the tears running down my
cheeks. It was so beautiful!
Occhi di Fata, by Luigi Denza
This was a sweet, poignant song and reminded me a bit of Santa
You have taken
the flower of my youth
and of my young blood...
you take my ardour,
please give me love.
It ended with truly the loveliest, sweetest high note of the
"...ma datemi l'amor!"
Here is a link to the lyrics:
My Way, by Revaux/Francois/Anka
Itís hard to pick a highlight from an evening that was near
perfection, but I think for many of us this would have to be it.
Andrea Bocelli has taken that old Frank Sinatra standard and
infused it with new life. He has claimed it as his own and the
words seem to resonate with the authenticity of his own life.
The song started out gently, quietly--his voice warm and mellow.
Then the pulsating, driving rhythm and the power of his voice
began to increase, the energy building...building.....building!
When he got to the last verse he really let loose--
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows...
then the final powerful, triumphal cry--
...and did it MMYYYYYYYYYYY WAY!
Once again we were on our feet! What a thrilling rendition of
that song! Bravo!
Here is a link to the lyrics:
Letís make this perfectly clear--NO one else can do what Andrea
Bocelli does! He is truly a unique singer, a beautiful operatic
tenor who can also really do justice to a pop song. He possesses
an awesome talent. How fortunate we are to experience it.
I was intrigued by the contrast between Steven Mercurio and
Andrea Bocelli--two men brimming with energy--one lavish in
gesture, exuberant, possessing unbridled enthusiasm, the energy
spilling out in almost endless motion--the other outwardly
still, understated, intense, restrained, the energy
concentrated, spilling out only in song! His body seems to
tremble with that energy when he sings--like the space shuttle
just before launching. Then he releases his incredible voice and
we are all transported to the heavens!
When Andrea sings we are not distracted by the usual overt,
dramatic gestures that most singers feel are essential. Instead
we look for the subtle moves that are equally effective in
conveying emotion--the gentle touch, the expressive face--and we
listen more deeply, finding drama and emotion in the voice. He
continues to confound the critics and astound the fans!
I spoke briefly with a member of the orchestra after the
concert, expressing my compliments for their wonderful
performance. The man thanked me and said, "Andrea Bocelli is
wonderful to work with. He has a great team around him. He is an
incredible performer." "What about the critics?" I asked. "They
have not been too kind." "Oh, THOSE people!" he said. "They are
looking for something else--I donít know what it is. Obviously
he doesnít do it for them, but he sure does for the thousands of
people who filled that arena tonight!"
Yes, he sure does!
He more than entertains us--he inspires us. In some ways he has
been our hero but in getting to know all of the wonderful people
his music has brought me to--people that I have come to love and
admire as much as Andrea himself--I realized that there are many
heros out there. We have been motivated in many ways, by many
songs, to tackle those difficult issues in our lives--to reach
out and take up the challenge, to explore new territory, to
venture forward in positive ways. Andrea has not been deterred
by obstacles and we need not be either. His voice is a powerful
witness to the things that can be accomplished to those who are
willing, determined, focused, and courageous.
If I could have spoken with him Friday night, this is what I
would have said:
"Andrea, it was truly a privilege and a joy to be here tonight
to hear you sing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Keep on
doing what you are doing. We love it!"
But I think the applause of 10,000 people told him more
forcefully than my feeble words could ever have done. I think he
- Well, this is the day after...now it's filed under
memories. My friend Mary and I headed for Chicago early in
the afternoon (we live in south-western Wisconsin, close to
the Illinois border). We planned on meeting some other fans
who had flown up from Texas and were staying at the
Radisson. We waited there for over an hour, but nobody
showed. We assumed they had changed their plans, as will
happen, so we ate dinner at a restaurant and headed for the
Allstate Arena in Rosemont, which is close to O'Hare Field.
There we discovered right next to it another Radisson
Hotel..... Seems like we waited at the wrong one, although
the other was named O'Hare Radisson...very disappointed.
We were early and noticed many squadcars and crossing guards
etc. starting to get things going. As we were waiting
outside in the line of fans which was beginning to form, a
squadcar drove up and down beside the lines announcing that
no recording or camera equipment were allowed and would be
confiscated if brought in. Darn. So of course everybody
(most everybody we noticed later) took their cameras back to
their cars. Once inside the arena absolutely nobody was
approached and searched!!!!!!!!
This was my very first time to see Andrea live in concert, I
had waited for the event for months, and my adrenalin was
overflowing. After all, I live and breathe Andrea...Well,
finally the orchestra took their seats, did their tuning
etc. and then Steven Mercuric popped out on the stage. His
name is so fitting!!!! He is mercurial, like quicksilver.
The first selection, of course, was the American National
Anthem, to which we all sang along with lots of screaming,
whistling and hooting at the end.
Next came Prelude to Carmen by George Bizet...and after that
Andrea was led onto the stage by Steven ,and the crowd went
wild. His first selection was "Vesti La Giubba"
(Leoncavallo) and basically I was just having a lot of
trouble believing I was actually seeing Andrea IN PERSON,
and hearing his voice, live, to pay too much attention to
the music. Andrea was wearing a head microphone and both my
friend and I thought it could have used some sound
adjustments, but his voice was sooo big and strong and
beautiful all the same.
Next Ana Maria Martinez came on and Steven decided since
Andrea's aria was a bit depressing Ana should sing something
a little more lively, which she did. Don't ask me what it
was, but she absolutely has the most beautiful soprano and
personality and charm, she was sheer joy to watch and hear.
Next came "Ombra mai fu" by Handel, one of my favorites.
What can I say.. everyone who knows Andrea knows how
wonderfully he portrays this very moving piece which was
arranged by Steven Mercurio. After that Andrea sang
"Turiddu's Farewell" by Mascagni, and who else can express
pain and sadness as well as our Andrea? After that the
orchestra played the rousing William Tell Overture, with
Steven joyfully jumping and gesticulating wildly and
obviously enjoying it as much as we did. Then Ana sang
another selection from Leoncavallo and again, anyone who has
seen and heard her perform has no need for my trying to
express the joy her voice brings out in all who love her.
Another sad Aria from Fedora by U.Giordano, sung by Bocelli.
I don't know about the rest of you fans, but I had a
terrible time deciding how I wanted to see him. With my bare
eyes, enjoying the wonderful lighting, the whole orchestra
and Steven Mercurio all together, concentrating on Andrea
with my opera glasses or watching the big screen. I just
wanted it all at the same time. I was getting very tired
from all that excitement...And the last number before
intermission was the very touching, beautiful duet "Viene la
sera" from Madame
Butterfly. He will be SO GOOD when he plays Lt. Pinkerton in
the Opera and Ana Maria Martinez should definitely be his
Madame Butterfly. They are perfect together.The fans
couldn't stop cheering at the end of the duet.
Intermission - waiting - watching people. What a variety!!!!
Then Mercurio's Mercurial Overture. How fitting. The title I
mean. As I said before, the man is mercurial...
I don't want to make this report too long, but the rest of
the concert was just pure emotion. Beautiful selections for
both Andrea and Ana, the rousing 1812 Overture by
Tschaikowsky, which brought everyone on their feet again,
Andrea's popular "O sole mio," which he must have sung
hundreds of times, starting with his first award-winning
performance at age 12, and still he sings it as beautifully
as ever. An English tune "Because" by Andrea, which caused
the audience to go ecstatic. And the Brindisi duet by Verdi
with Andrea and Ana brought the concert to an end.
There are no two ways about it, the audience wanted Andrea
back out on the stage. And back he came. He sang "I did it
my way" from his piano bar days, and I think he did it a lot
better than Sinatra (just my humble opinion) People went
wild. After this exit, Andrea had to come back 2 more times,
once singing "E Mi Manchi Tu", which brings me to tears
every time I hear it, and last but not least his signature
song "Con te partirÚ." Mama mia!!!! Andrea, Ana and Steven came
out one more time to do their final bows.
And tonight the fans can go wild in St. Paul. MN. It really
was the ultimate for me to see Andrea live, in person....
Last February I had almost resigned myself to the fact that
I never would, and then the news came shortly after that
that he would do another US Tour and actually start in
Chicago. I firmly believed that God decided I was worth
it..... We had the tickets 10 min. after the sales started
March 13, and since then it was anticipation...
I miss his tousled hair, his boyish looks, yet how handsome
he is in his new matured version...he earned every bit of
it. Bravo, Andrea, bravo...
The first stop of Andrea's 2002 summer concert tour was
nothing if not
fantastic! How the crowd welcomed him back to the USA and to
As soon as he appeared there was thunderous applause. He
began the evening with "Vesti La Giubba" from Pagliacci and
"Aranjuez, My Dream" by Joaquin Rodrigo both delivered with
much emotion. He was in tremendous voice!
Later in the first part of the program, Andrea sang "Mia
madre, la mia vecchia madre" from Fedora. This is a very
moving song with sobs just beneath the words and Andrea
conveyed this to every heart in the house. The duet from
Madama Butterfly, "Viene la Sera," sung with Anna Maria
Martinez was truly exquisite!!
I shall not give away all the surprises of the evening. But
I can tell you
that Andrea continues to mature in heart and voice and
delivers a first class performance that can not fail to
reacquaint the listener with romance.
I feel that this tour is very important for Andrea and once
again, we have embraced him with open arms!
Evelina Jarosz Clark