Singer has perfect voice for either opera or pop
|Andrea Bocelli performing a concert outdoors in the|
United States, where he has a big following
Bocelli, who is blind, had poor eyesight from birth and was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma, but he lost his sight completely at the age of 12 after an accident while playing football.
He always loved music and started to learn the piano at the age of six. But after hearing a recording by opera singer Franco Corelli, he set his heart on becoming a tenor.
Bocelli won his first singing competition in Viareggio with ‘O sole mio’ at the age of 14.
He has since sold 150 million records worldwide and performed for four US presidents, three Popes and the British Royal family. His voice has been acclaimed by critics as perfect for either opera or pop.
Bocelli originally studied law and spent one year working as a lawyer, but in 1992 the great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti heard a recording of his unique voice performing Italian rock and pop artist Zucchero’s song Miserere and helped his career take off.
|Andrea Bocelli (right) with the late Luciano Pavarotti and rock|
musician Zucchero at one of Pavarotti's fund-raising events
He sang Miserere with Zucchero during a European tour and performed it at the San Remo song festival, where he won the newcomer’s section with the highest ever number of votes. He later performed it at Pavarotti’s annual charity concert in Modena.
He has sung duets with many top names in the classical and popular music world, made recordings, performed in concerts and operas and appeared on television all over the world.
Many of his recordings have enjoyed record sales figures. His album Sacred Arias became the all-time biggest-selling classical crossover album by a solo artist when sales reached five million copies and, with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide, his 1997 pop album Romanza became the best-selling album by an Italian artist of any genre in history.
Watch Andrea Bocelli perform his hit single Time to Say Goodbye with British artist Sarah Brightman
Bocelli was made a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2006 and was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.
|Bocelli's open-air Teatro del Silenzio, which he helped|
to create near his home town of Lajatico in Tuscany
Lajatico in the province of Pisa lies among rolling hills within easy distance of Florence and Pisa. Every summer, Bocelli performs in a concert with guest singers and musicians at the Teatro del Silenzio, an open air amphitheatre he helped establish in his home town.
La Sterza, the hamlet where Andrea Bocelli was born, is about two and a half kilometres from Lajatico and is surrounded by gentle sloping countryside dotted with olive trees. It is a prime area for strawberry cultivation and the local people celebrate producing their crops each year with a strawberry festival at the beginning of May.