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Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli (born September 22, 1958 in Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy) is a singer, writer and music producer.

An operatic tenor, he has released four complete operas (La Boheme, Il Trovatore, Werther and Tosca) and over eleven other albums, both classical and popular in style. He has two sons Amos (b. 1995) and Matteo (b. 1997). He was married but has since separated from his only wife, Enrica. Bocelli was born with glaucoma, and was blinded at the age of 12 by a brain hemorrhage, which he suffered when hit on the head playing football. He will not discuss his disability and has always played it down.

As a child Andrea was already playing the church organ, and at the age of 12 won the Margherita d'Oro in Viareggio with O sole mio, his first competition win. After working for a year as a lawyer (he graduated as a Doctor of Law from the University of Pisa) he undertook singing lessons from Maestro Luciano Bettarini, taking up music full time. He has never stopped his vocal training, attending a master class with renowned tenor Franco Corelli in Torino, for example.

National recognition

The Italian rock star Zucchero Fornaciari first auditioned Andrea while scouting for tenors in 1992; upon hearing the tape, tenor Luciano Pavarotti urged Zucchero to use Andrea instead of himself. In 1994 Andrea performed the winning entry Il mare calmo della sera in the San Remo Festival, which lead to his first Golden Disc. That year he debuted as Macduff in Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth, sang at Pavarotti's benefit concert at Modena, and before the Pope at Christmas.

In the 1995 San Remo festival Andrea won fourth place singing Con Te Partir˛.

International recognition

In 1996 in Germany with soprano Sarah Brightman he sang an English version of Con Te Partiro, entitled Time to Say Goodbye, which broke sales records and stayed in the German top ten for nearly six months. In subsequent years Andrea performed at Paris, Bologna, Torre del Lago and the Vatican, and released further albums, until entering the American market in 1998 with a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington and a White House reception. Both that year and in 1999 Andrea embarked on tours to North and South America and duets with CÚline Dion. Andrea's albums top the US classical album charts. In 2002 Andrea repeated his America tour, winning two World Music Awards. Since then, Andrea has continued to expand his career with concert appearances throughout the world.

Charitable and other works

He has sung for many charitable events and occasions, such as at Ground Zero in October 2001; several of the Pavarotti & Friends for Children events; participated in the Sharon Osbourne CD project for tsunami relief; and performed in a large, televised concert in Italy in March 2005 called Music for Asia. Not limited to singing, Andrea has contributed to several written works, including a short piece on friendship in a compilation by Dorris Platt, and the foreward to an Italian book about shared custody. He also published a thinly-disguised autobiography named The Music of Silence in 2001.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Andrea Bocelli Facts

OccupationMusician
BirthdaySeptember 22, 1958 (59)
SignVirgo
BirthplaceLajatico, Italy

Selected Filmography

Love in Portofino
Vivere Live in Tuscany
Cinema Special Edition
Concerto, One Night in Central Park
Andrea Bocelli / David Foster: My Christmas
Faith: Pope John Paul II
Christmas Glory from Westminster with Andrea Bocelli and Charlotte Church
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