The Italian tenor has sold more than 150 million records worldwide and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest opera singers. Bocelli was given his big break in the early Nineties when the late Luciano Pavarotti declared there was “no finer voice” after listening to his audition tape. The singer, now 50, reflected on his impressive career and revealed he did not like talking.
Despite his unquestionable talent, some have criticised Bocelli in the past for his “lack of technique” and for treading the fine line between classical and pop music.
The singer, who has released 17 studio albums and 22 singles, came under fire after he recorded hits from The Godfather, Gladiator and Doctor Zhivago.
Bocelli largely dismissed the attacks and stated that “all the biggest tenors in the world” had recorded songs that blurred the two musical genres.
He continued: “Why should I not do it? I have many friends who don’t love opera and I like to sing songs for them. It’s beautiful to sing for everybody.”
Bocelli’s response came amid criticism from New York Times reviewer Bernard Holland who felt his talent was overstated.
The writer commented that he had “poor phrasing, uneven tone and a lack of technique” in a 2011 review.
Others including the late Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor felt otherwise and described experiencing “golden goosebumps” whenever she listened to him.
Celine Dion, who he had dueted with him, stated: “If God had a singing voice, he would sound like Andrea Bocelli.”
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In a surprising confession, considering the fluent articulation needed for such a role, he revealed that he didn’t like to talk.
In 2015, he told The Telegraph: “If I am honest, I absolutely hate to speak. Singing is the only way I have to express myself fully.
“I feel art is a cryptic language but once it is deciphered, it is a much more profound language than the spoken word.”
Bocelli came to the revelation while staring at Michelangelo’s 15th Century sculpture the Pietà.
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He said: “You feel an emotion that comes from a very strong communication that has absolutely nothing to do with language.”
Earlier this month, Bocelli took to the stage in a bid to inspire “optimism and hope” in the millions of people across the world who had suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The singer, who performed alongside his eight-year-old daughter Virginia, sang Believe, White Christmas, Amazing Grace and Hallelujah, at the Teatro Regio di Parma, in Italy.
Andrea Bocelli’s show Believe in Christmas, which first aired on December 12, is available to watch here.