Contrary to widespread belief, I do not consider myself an opera snob. Yes, I love opera, and I can appreciate some of the technical aspects of the art, but I do not have the ear, nor the training and knowledge to be too critical.
So when my dear friend Arlene invited me to see Andrea Bocelli last week, I embraced the warmth of his voice and the feeling he puts into his singing, without concerning myself too much about his voice wavering on the long high notes as his critics say. Straight from work I picked Arlene up and we drove through the detestable Miami traffic to the venue.
Very astutely, Bocelli played on February 14th to a full ice hockey stadium (the ice had been taken out, to be clear), the FLA Arena outside Miami, home of the Panthers. He sang his signature mix of opera arias: Brindisi from La Traviata, Una furtiva lagrima from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, La donna è mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto, O soave fanciulla from Puccini’s La Boheme and so on, with the grand finale being the obligatory and wonderful Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot.
Bocelli peppered his concert with his famous pop songs like Time to Say Goodbye and Vivo per lei. He also sang old classics like Somos novios and Bésame mucho. The concert featured many guest artists besides a full orchestra and chorus: a jazz singer, a soprano, a violinist and wonderful dancers, even his wife accompanied him on a song!
All in all, it was a great concert worth listening to, regardless of what the opera snobs say!