The world’s most beloved tenor, Italian singer, Andrea Bocelli  captivated thousands of fans in Abu Dhabi as he took the stage at the du Arena on Yas Island Friday night.
Bocelli left the vast audience in awe after a two-hour concert during which he performed many of their favourite songs including classics such as ‘Time to Say Goodbye’, ‘Mamma’, ‘Brindisi’, ‘I Found My Love in Portofino’, as well as songs from his new album, ‘Passione’ including ‘Anema e Core’, ‘Era Gia Tutto Previsto’ and ‘Quizas, Quizas, Quizas’.
The opera  legend also showed off his talents and competence as he sang his own version of Edith Piaf’s  classic ‘La Vie En Rose ’. While Piaf is typically unrivaled, Bocelli managed to create the perfect duet with the late singer. With a screen behind him showing Piaf performing parts of the song, the magical duet left the audience applauding even in the middle of the song.
Hitting one perfect note after the other, Bocelli proved himself worthy of being the biggest-selling classical artist alive. The concert was exclusively in Italian (with that French song), but the multi-cultured audience almost made it to a full house.
“[The concert] was absolutely amazing. It was so beautiful and every song was just wonderful,” Sanja Milosavhevich, an audience member said. “I never attended any concert by Andrea Bocelli but I love him.”
While she barely understood any Italian, Milosavhevich admitted she “teared up as [Bocelli] was singing.” She added that it was her love of classical music and Bocelli’s “very pure voice” that brought her to the concert, which she described as “very classy”.
Sitting a few rows away, Salma Kashef shared the same opinion.
“The entire concert was just great but I have to say that the second half was better,” Kashef said. “It was a refined concert and it was very well organised with a positive energy in the crowd.”
Though she also did not speak Italian, Kashef said she enjoyed Bocelli’s voice.
“He’s such an inspiration and he really knows his music. I know the concert is just over but we want him back,” she said at the end.
Bocelli was accompanied on stage by a 70-piece orchestra, a 60-piece choir, as well as solo soprano, Paola Sanguinetti, and Div4s (a group of four sopranos) who performed some titles with Bocelli. Div4s even took the stage without Bocelli to perform a few songs including ‘Brucia La Terra’ (Speak Softly Love).
By the time the concert was over, fans were still hungry for more and after a long standing ovation, Bocelli obliged and returned back to the stage to indulge them with more. Indeed, he went beyond the concert’s programme to perform four more songs and close with his signature ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ before another Italian song.
Pure delight best describes the reaction - and the evening.
By Sarah Gamal