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Piazza del Campo
May 24, 2003
I just have returned from a 2 week trip to Tuscany. It was a wonderful time in Andrea's native land with much culture, beautiful countryside and good food!

One of the highlights for me in the first week was a visit to la Sterza where Andrea has lived and where I saw the house of his parents. I bought some wine there - Chianti Bocelli from 1999 (address from bocelli.de). La Sterza is a small village, the countryside around is very beautiful, blossomed meadows, red poppies, vineyards and this special smell, what Andrea describes in his book. I can understand that he loves that very much.

The second week I have stayed in Siena and there I saw Andrea's concert on the Piazza del Campo on Saturday night. I saw Andrea at first on Friday in a restaurant having dinner with friends. Then on Saturday -after the whole day waiting on the Piazza- there was a test with all singers and the orchestra, two hours before the beginning of the concert. Andrea seemed to be very relaxed, his sons Amos and Matteo accompanied him, and during singing a duet from La Bohme, he held Matteo on his shoulders.

Piazza del Campo has a groundplan like a mussel, surrounded by old palazzos, and so it is a little bit like an amphitheatre. According to an italian newspaper report there have been 20,000 visitors on the Piazza, a small part on reserved seats by making a distribution to the Arpa Fondazione, of which Andrea is the honorary president.

It was a mild summer night and so the atmosphere was great, as at 9.30 p.m. the concert began with Nabucco's sinfonia. After that Andrea entered the stage and sure he got very much applause from the audience. He began with two songs from "Sentimento," then Tosca, Il Trovatore and La Bohme with his partners Maria Luigia Borsi and baritone Leo Ahn. Especially my favorite duet from La Bohme with Leo Ahn was great.

After a short intermission baritone Leo Ahn with an animated "Figaro" aria (Rossini), much applause also for him. Than again Andrea with "LaSerenata," a duet from La vedova allegra(Lehar), and some Italian songs, at last "O Sole Mio," all songs sung with much feeling and much heart. No pop in this concert except"Time To Say Goodbye," together with "Brindisi" encores at the end. Shortly before closing Andrea said something about the Arpa Fondazione and thanked for the distribution, I am sorry I did not understand very much because sure it was in Italian.

Very much applause at the end. It was an unforgettable night and one of the best concerts from Andrea I have ever seen!

Also the other singers and the Orchestra Citt Lirica di Pisa, conductor Marcello Rota have been very good, there was no weakness this night.
Andrea's wonderful voice, sometimes so soft and sometimes so strong, the Italian music, the great atmosphere, the mild temperature, behind the stage the ancient illuminated Palazzo Pubblico with the Torre del Mangia, that was perfect Italian feeling - una serata italiana perfetta!

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