“There is no one finer,” said the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. “If God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli,” added Celine Dion, the voice behind the Titanic soundtrack.

Constantly touted as the “World’s Best-selling Classical Artist”, the Italian classical singer has impressed many since the early 90s and though he might not be of the same repute as singers like Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson, he is nonetheless, a singing legend in the classical sphere.

Since his debut in 1994, Bocelli who was also blind by the age of 12 has performed at many important places, bringing the sound of music to places like St.Peter’s Basilica, the Rod Laver Arena and the Statute of Liberty, venues that are rarely or never associated with music.

Performing at important events such as the Grammy Awards, the Academy Award and the finals of many sports tournaments, serenading the large crowds at such high octane events have become second nature to this Italian who counts the late Pope John Paul II and Bill Clinton as two of the more distinguished people in his very long list of important people that he has mesmerised with his unique voice.

Like many singers, Bocelli has given back to society by using his God given talents at the many charity concerts but he gave his first free concert on the Great Lawn of Central Park in New York. Titled Concert: One Night In Central Park, Bocelli was accompanied by the New York Philharmonic, the Westminster Symphonic choir and singers such as Celine Dion. The concert was recorded on tape and also broadcast ‘live’ through the United States, Canada and his native Italy.

But by the time you’ve read all the stuff above, you’ll realize it’s already too late to fly down to New York to hear the Italian serenade you on the lawn of Central Park, because that happened in 2011. However, the 2-hour recording that was cut into a DVD allows you the privilege of reliving the concert as the multi-camera angles bring you through the full 2 hours from many different perspectives.

Photos courtesy of Souran5 & Universal Music Singapore.

Without having to brave the cold rain, Act I of the show includes Bocelli along with fellow singers Bryn Tefel, Pretty Yende and Ana Maria Martinez performing 9 classical songs by Italian composers Verdi and Puccini.

Though songs like the Va, Tosca and O Soave Fanciulla are songs from Operas that are mainly consumed by classical music students or enthusiasts, Bocelli’s rendition accompanied by New York Philharmonic ensure that you would still be hooked as he hits every note with stunning accuracy.

While it is one thing to be a good singer, it is another to possess the presence and attention on stage. Well aware of the fact that many would probably not be aware of the Opera songs -considering it is something of an acquired taste-, music director Alan Gilbert also ensured that this concert would appeal to the masses, by incorporating the modern style pop concert theme into this classical show.

As Bocelli belted out a rendition of Schubert’s very popular Ave Maria in Act I, Act II of the concert also features more recognisable tunes such as Nessun Dorma, Amazing Grace and Time to Say Goodbye, tunes that you might have probably heard on idol singing contests. Executed excellently, he gives you a proper hair rising rendition that would most probably melt your hearts and make your knees wobble.

While Act I showcased the singing prowess of Bocelli, Act II was less of a solo singing act. Clad in an all white suit, Bocelli was not only accompanied by fellow singers, but also David Foster on the piano and Andrea Griminelli with the flute.

As the show climaxed, Bocelli and Celine Dion also serenaded the 70,000 plus people present with their rendition of their famous duet, The Prayer, a song that won the best Original Song for the Golden Globe in 1999.

Though this album is probably not one that you would want to keep in your car (because we’d usually want something more upbeat), it does give a very good commercial introduction to opera singing and classical music. The select group of musicians who performed with Bocelli not only embellished the show but added value to it.

The New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Symphonic Choir were pitch perfect, the piano work of David Foster was crisp and accurate and Andrea Griminelli was also excellent when he played a solo rendition of The Flight of The Bumblebee.

For those out there who were forced to play the piano or briefly flirted with other musical instruments as a kid, Bocelli’s Concerto: One Night In Central Park would probably leave you with a burning desire to return to the keyboard or to pick up that dusty violin.

Also, as every other musician in this age rely on the auto tune or on other forms of technology, a night with Bocelli in Central park or rather on your television set, would remind you of the beauty of music. And for those who may be scoffing, you‘ve already read this far and the 2 hours of classical singing would definitely open the door to a whole new genre and leave you wanting for more.


Album Details

  • Artiste: Andrea Bocelli
  • Guest performers: Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, Bryn Terfel, Ana Maria Martinez, Pretty Yende, Andrea Griminelli, Nicola Benedetti and David Foster
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Language: English/Italian
  • Genre: Classical
  • Record Label: Universal Music
  • Release date: Nov 14



Act I

  1. Overture
  2. La Donne É Mobile
  3. DI Quella Pira
  4. Va, Tosca!
  5. Ave Maria
  6. Vicino A Te S’acqueta
  7. Au Found Du Temple Saint
  8. Intermezzo
  9. O Soave Faniciulla
  10. Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici


Act II

  1. Overture
  2. Home on the Range
  3. En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor
  4. Funiculi Funicula
  5. The Flight of the Bumblebee
  6. ‘O Sole Mio
  7. Amarcord
  8. Your Love
  9. More
  10. Nel blu, Dipinto Di Blu
  11. The Prayer
  12. New York, New York
  13. Amazing Grace
  14. Time To Say Goodbye
  15. Nessun Dorma