Andrea Bocelli talks Valentine’s Day, Heather Headley ahead of Infinite Energy Center concert
By: Melissa Ruggieri
Published: February 10, 2017
That Andrea Bocelli is performing in Atlanta on Valentine’s Day seems like some sort of gift from Eros.
The Italian tenor, blind since his teenage years, is an international superstar whose albums have names such as “Romanza,” “Passione” and “Amore.” His soaring songs are swoon-worthy, especially when coupled with his robust handsomeness.
Bocelli will perform Tuesday at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, along with longtime musical friend and Broadway star Heather Headley and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Last week, the song stylist took some time to conduct an interview via email (he prefers this because of the language barrier and difference in time zones between the U.S. and Italy). Here is what he had to say:
Q: You’re performing on Valentine’s Day, which seems fitting given the romantic nature of your songs. But will you do anything different or special to acknowledge the occasion during your show?
A: To love, to this wonderful feeling that is the driving power of the world, I have dedicated my whole life, both professional and not. My songs are, inevitably, about love. But Valentine’s Day is a special day, and consequently the lineup of the concert will be specifically conceived for this event, to be a worthy soundtrack for every love story for every lover. I try to convey that feeling in every song, in every note…Even though, I have to say, that my goal (and my wish for everybody) is that it may be Valentine’s Day every day of the year.
Q: What can fans expect from the show from a production standpoint, as well as the songs you will perform? Will you go through your entire catalog to select songs, or stick to newer material?
A: The structure is as usual, made up of two parts. The first part of the concert will be dedicated to opera, which guards some of the most exciting love stories of all times, sometimes tragic, sometimes with a happy ending. Simple stories, full of pathos expressed in music pages that involve us and make us perceive a love alive and burning.
Such as “Aida,” “Rigoletto,” “Un ballo in maschera,” “Romeo et Juliette,” “Martha,” “La Bohème,” “La Traviata.” Absolute masterpieces, from which we will draw a selection of the most popular and most captivating songs, brimming with love. The second part will be dedicated to romanzas and to songs. A substantial part will be from ‘Cinema,’ my latest album, but there will be also pages from my previous albums, that my public has shown to appreciate particularly.
Q: What type of preparation is involved in performing with a symphony, since you’re working with a different group of musicians in every city?
A: Every orchestra has its own ‘sound,’ a feature that denotes its character; this is for me very stimulating, even more – as in the case of your city – when I can rely on an orchestra of the highest level. The time for rehearsal is always limited, this cannot be denied, but the rhythms of a tour, unfortunately, are like this, for many reasons and anyway, beyond our will. But these rhythms require from all of us a remarkable concentration to give the maximum, to try to give the best tune. The effort requested to the orchestra musicians and to the choir is remarkable, but the results are very satisfactory. The role of the podium, in this regard, is crucial. In Atlanta there will be, once more, Eugene Kohn, a great artist and friend, with whom after so many years of cooperation we have reached an almost perfect harmony.
Q: You and Heather Headley have worked together since the late 2000s. Why did you decide to bring her on this tour? Will you be performing together during the show? How would you describe her as a vocalist?
A: Heather is an extraordinary professional whose many qualities the American public knows well. When, like in this case, the commitments of both allow us to tread the same stage, I am really thrilled. In the course of the show she will also perform alone, but, above all, we will have the opportunity to sing duets, some particularly loved and famous, from the album “Amore” and not only.
Q: Your last two albums focused on duets and movie songs, respectively. Is there another concept you would like to tackle for your next project? And do you have a timeframe in mind to release your next album?
A: Music is an inexhaustible treasure trove of wonders; many are the operatic titles I would like to tackle, and also in the pop field, curiosity and my desire to face new challenges are not missing. Thank God for my own job I have to deal with my biggest passion! The recording of a famous nineteenth-century opera is being defined, probably for this summer. In the meanwhile I am working with my staff on some recording projects related to the world of songs. But it is too early to talk about them, also because at the moment most of my forces and time are absorbed by the tours related to my album “Cinema.”