THE TERM 'LIVING legend,' is perhaps overused, though when it comes to opera maestro Andrea Bocelli, it is fully justified. A career spanning almost 25 years, every possible classical accolade and one of the world's most recognisable names and faces makes his Friday gig at the du Arena on Yas Island the hottest ticket around.
"I am back with joy to meet your public, whose warmth, empathy and generosity I have already appreciated," Andrea told us when asked how it felt to be returning to Abu Dhabi three years after his last appearance.
Heading to our shores with his 'Cinema World Tour' supporting his latest album Cinema, Andrea aims to celebrate the greatest movie songs of all time.
"I like to call it 'the paradise of music'," said Andrea, explaining the popularity of opera. "It allows expressing the inexpressible. Opera brings into play primary emotions, with such intensity to break down all sorts of cultural and generational barriers."
He went on to say that cultural barriers were not a problem in the emirates given the mix of nationalities. It is the country's physical landscape however, which has left the biggest impression on the singer.
"I am happy to return to an a extraordinary land, where you can perceive better than in any other place, the immense power of nature as well as the talent of man who knows how to tame it. In the UAE you can breathe the future."
. Sold over 80 million albums worldwide
. Honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (pictured).
. Following a football accident aged 12, permanently lost his eyesight.
. Central Park concert in 2011 entered the history of music as one of the greatest live performances of all time
. Performed live in front of three Presidents of the United States, three popes, and royal families all over the world
"A self-taught teenager, encouraged by family and friends, I made my debut in a small town not far from my hometown, and for the first time I could perceive the affection of a real audience. I was encouraged by my parents, who, however, insisted that, at the same time, I fulfilled my studies. And so it was. I graduated in law and started working as a lawyer, until when - already more than thirty five - I achieved fame in the artistic field."
"I do not like flying, nor can I say that I have got used to leaving my home and my Tuscany. Mine is a wandering life. The rhythms it requires always cost me physical and psychological strain. Every time I have to leave the peace and the happiness of my house and all of my loved ones, this separation makes me suffer a lot. At the same time, I am perfectly aware how wonderful my work is, and I feel real gratitude towards my public."
"When I get on stage I still perceive a certain tension. The more the years pass, the more the expectations of my audience grow; tension, therefore, derives from the fierce desire to be at the height of those expectations, of being able to give my best, fearing at the same time to fail. But I try to make this tension positive, concentrating on my will to sing for each listener, looking for a true, direct relation, based on intellectual honesty, on the joy of sharing. "
"If I have to mention the most exciting artistic meeting on the pop side, I think of Celine Dion, a dear friend, but also of Barbra Streisand. In the field of opera I bear in my heart the times when I had the privilege of singing with Luciano Pavarotti, with Placido Domingo and many other colleagues."
Andrea will be taking to the du Arena stage in Abu Dhabi on Friday, April 22. Tickets available at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastores.
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