WITH 70 million album sales and a mentor role on American Idol, Andrea Bocelli’s career has been anything but ordinary.
An opera star who has refused to play by the rules, the Italian tenor showed exactly why he’s one of the world’s best-loved singers during his One Night in Birmingham concert at the LG Arena.
Backed by an orchestra and a chorus of backing singers, he seamlessly linked opera, classical and pop. From the heartbreak of Romeo and Juliet and Turandot through to La Traviata, Bocelli lived up to the praise heaped on him as an emerging star by that other great crossover artist, Pavarotti.
A brief interval gave way to a more contemporary feel, most notably with a heartfelt version of the Elvis Presley hit Can’t Help Falling in Love.
While Granada, a love letter to the Spanish city of the same name, could have come straight from the score of a spaghetti western, all Spanish guitars and soaring strings.
A stirring version of Canto Fella Terra brought the crowd to their feet for the first time, aware they were watching a master at work.
Time to Say Goodbye, the Sarah Brightman duet which marked Bocelli’s move into the mainstream in the 1990s, was note perfect, while his parting aria Nessun Dorma was electric. Mr Pavarotti would have been proud.