• Danny Wiser

ITALY: Bocelli - Andrea Bocelli

Updated: Jan 20

By merging classical music with pop, the talented tenor brings opera to the masses with his striking singing

Whether you are into rap or techno, it is unlikely that in your years on this planet you have not come across the incredible voice of Andrea Bocelli. Whilst classical crossover may not be a genre to everyone’s taste, no matter what you think of it, it is undeniable that Bocelli’s powerful, operatic vocals are incredibly impressive. That might be what one could think when listening to the worst tracks on this album, however, at its zenith it is awe-inspiring.

“Kick back with a big glass of white wine on a lazy Sunday afternoon and bask in the majesty of the tenor’s splendid voice.”

Some albums have an obvious best song and Bocelli’s 1995 self-titled album falls into this category with the outstanding opening track Con te partirò. Whilst the song acts as an early demonstration of the immense notes that the Italian can reach, it is by no means the only time he does so. Whilst the track is understandably synonymous with the singer, the rest of the album maintains a high-standard making it worth listening to all the way through. Bocelli is an album that merges pop and opera masterfully, making the latter genre accessible to the masses despite misconceptions of being inherently a genre for the upper classes.

Whilst its simplicity could be a criticism, as every track seems to follow the same structure of starting off slow before reaching a dramatic middle section and softly petering out, what he does, simply with the beauty of his voice, is quash any myths that music is not a universal language to be enjoyed by all and that certain music can only be appreciated by the elite. He removes any pretentiousness that may make listening to an opera album a daunting prospect for some and strips it back to basics. Furthermore, by covering the popular '80s pop hit The Power of Love by Jennifer Love, he was bringing opera to the masses by giving those listeners less familiar with the genre an olive branch as they could adjust to his style by hearing both lyrics and tune they were bound to be familiar with already.

In addition to the aforementioned two tracks mentioned that are easy for anyone to admire E chiove, Vivo Per Lei and Sempre sempre are in themselves great songs in their own right in which Bocelli’s vocal shine again and again. However, it could be argued that if one does not speak Italian they might not be able to fully appreciate the album. Whilst this could limit the enjoyment available for some of his audience, in the case of this album I do not believe it matters a great deal. This album is a mood setter. Kick back with a big glass of white wine on a lazy Sunday afternoon and bask in the majesty of the tenor’s splendid voice. Bocelli’s voice is commanding enough to dictate the mood of his audience as he transmits emotion by exploring the depths of his vocal range. The album is simultaneously relaxing and jarring, as he keeps his listeners on their toes, ensuring that they are transfixed on the beauty of his singing beyond anything else.

To me the album even paints a picture of Italy itself. I can easily imagine being sat outside in a piazza in any one of Italy’s major cities that are blessed with stunning architecture, watching a singer serenade passers-by and restaurant-goers with tracks from Bocelli’s superb second album. It is therefore no surprise that this album had much international success, as deep down, people from all across the world are jealous of 'la dolce vita' that many Italians live and try to emulate it in whatever way they can. Whilst, I would say that the album does not contain much variety that is not necessarily a big problem. The album is perfect if you wish to set a particular mood and listen in admiration to a voice that can be appreciated regardless of social class or nationality.