Beloved tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a free concert on Central Park’s Great Lawn on September 15, 2011, and Great Performances captured the evening on film.
Bocelli was joined by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by its music director Alan Gilbert.The program is the New York-based offering of the multi-city PBS Arts Fall Festival.
Widely regarded as the most popular Italian tenor in the world with more than 70 million albums sold, Bocelli was joined that rainy, windswept evening by pop stars Céline Dion, Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, and David Foster, and from the classical world bass baritone Bryn Terfel, sopranos Ana María Martínez and Pretty Yende, and violinist Nicola Benedetti, along with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, under the direction of Joe Miller. Bocelli presented a varied repertoire that includes well known arias, fan favorites, and some new surprises.
Since Great Performances introduced American television audiences to Bocelli with 1997's Romanza concert, Bocelli has been featured in a notable series of Great Performances specials, including Sacred Arias, Amore, Vivere, My Christmas and American Dream, his spectacular "Statue of Liberty" concert from New Jersey's Liberty State Park.
The night began promisingly as the setting sun cast a golden glow on the New York skyline, but as Maestro Gilbert struck up the portentous strains of Verdi's La Forza del Destino overture, a light but steady rain fell over the crowd of some tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and those who had come much farther, to see him. Though umbrellas were raised, and a chilly wind began to blow, fans were swept up in the beauty of the music and the presence of their idol. "In spite of the rain and cold, you are heroes," Bocelli assured the adoring crowd.
The first act of stirring operatic selections including Verdi and Puccini favorites gave way to more popular fare in the second including duets with Celine Dion and Tony Bennett.
Click here to see more of the PBS Fall Arts Festival lineup.
Go here to get tickets to see Andrea Bocelli in concert.
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