A tenor who’s soaring to new heights

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A tenor who’s soaring to new heights


Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform in Seoul on April 22. Provided by the organizer

Italian pop-opera legend Andrea Bocelli is coming to Seoul this week. It will be his second encounter with Bocelli lovers in Korea since his performance in 2000.
Best known in Korea for his hit duet “Time to Say Goodbye” with Sarah Brightman, the acclaimed tenor has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.
He has shown a unique ability to cross between classical and pop, becoming the first classical musician to be nominated for best new artist award at the Grammys, which was in 1999.
Bocelli lost his sight in an accident at age 12 when he was growing up in Tuscany.
He studied and practiced law for a while, but realizing his passion lay in music. He signed up for lessons with Frank Corelli and soon made a name for himself, winning praise from none other than Luciano Pavarotti.
On April 22, Bocelli will perform “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot,” “E lucevan le stelle” from “Tosca” and the globally famous Neapolitan song “O sole mio.”
Guest singers will include pop singer Heather Headley and soprano Maria Luigia Borsi plus the Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and Yun Hakwon Choral, both from Korea.

Q. How does your hometown affect your music?
A. Tuscany is where my heart is. Its blue skies, warm sunshine and exquisite nature makes people happy. Same goes for me. It really helps to be at a happy, peaceful place when you are singing.

How do you take care of your voice?
I don’t smoke or drink. I try to exercise everyday. Constant singing practice is part of my regular routine. It’s important to practice every day like athletes do. Otherwise, you end up rushing at the last minute before concerts. However, sometimes silence is important, too. When I perform on stage, I try to speak less and sometimes not speak at all the whole day. Silence also taught me how helpful it is to listen more.

How is singing pop music different from singing opera?
Opera and pop music can be distinguished like two different languages. But I don’t think they were completely different from one another in the beginning. As instruments became different, sounds also became different and eventually, they were sung in different manners. In pop music, I think it’s important to deliver as much emotion as you can with your voice. In opera, however, the focus is more on voice and vocal technique.

What message do you hope to give with your music?
I want to convey all the feelings I’ve received from music with those who listen to my music. I think humans have the ability to adapt to any given circumstance. But if I didn’t have music, my life would’ve been a very sad and boring one. I hope to share the serenity, peace, hope, strength and happiness that I got from music. I want people to know that there are hundreds of reasons that they should never give up on themselves no matter how hard and painful life can be.

You’ve performed with many musicians. Who were some of the most memorable musical partners?
There is probably no one who’s influenced me as much as Zucchero and Pavarotti. As many know, Zucchero is the one who’s opened the way for me to perform on stage. Pavarotti, meanwhile, helped me gain faith in singing. Maestro Pavarotti was the greatest vocalist. He’s a legend to me. When I heard that he praised my voice and singing, I was thrilled. It helped me become who I am today.

Where are now in your career?
It’s ongoing. I’m climbing a step at a time without knowing what’s at the top. I believe doing my best every day will help me become a better person.

By Kim Hyung-eun Staff Reporter [hkim@joongang.co.kr]
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