portofino  bocelli

5. QUIZAS QUIZAS QUIZAS duet with Jennifer Lopez
8. LA VIE EN ROSE featuring original vocals by Edith Piaf

9. CORCOVADO duet with Nelly Furtado
10. SARA’ SETTEMBRE (September Morn)

“Passione” is a Stunning Collection of Mediterranean Love Songs Featuring Duets with Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado and the late Edith Piaf; Album Reunites Bocelli with multiple Grammy-winning Producer David Foster.

International superstar Andrea Bocelli released his new studio album, “Passione” on January 28 on Sugar / Universal Music Group. Filled with romance and beauty, “Passione” is a lush collection of Mediterranean love songs featuring duets with global pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado, and the late Edith Piaf. The album reunites Bocelli with 16-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster, who produced Bocelli’s 2006 release “Amore,” which sold more than 4.2 million copies.

“Passione” is in essence the second volume of “Amore,” with a “fil rouge” which ideally connects the albums. As with “Amore,” which featured timeless masterworks, “Passione” includes several beloved classics such as “Love Me Tender,” “Girl From Ipanema,” and “Sarà Settembre,” (better known to English-speaking audiences as Neil Diamond’s “September Morn”). Jennifer Lopez is featured on the soft and sensual track “Quizás Quizás Quizás” and Nelly Furtado joins Bocelli on “Corcovado.” The album also features a duet with the late French chanteuse Edith Piaf on the song “La Vie En Rose.”

On the album, Bocelli sings in six languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Neapolitan) with his unmistakable voice, as Foster accompanies him on piano, along with Peruvian guitarist Ramon Stagnaro. The sensual sound is rounded out by Cuban, Brazilian, and Portuguese rhythms and a 63-piece orchestra recorded in London.

“Andrea continues to be my favorite singer of all time,” Foster declares. “I pride myself on working with great voices, but he transcends that. He’s a singer for all people, from the common man to the Pope.”

Bocelli is an iconic figure in music with a myriad of breathtaking career achievements to his name. The Italian tenor is the most successful classical solo artist ever and one of the best-selling artists in music history, period, with more than 80 million albums sold worldwide. He is also credited with enabling the core classical repertoire to cross over and find a home atop the international pop charts, creating a new genre of music along the way. He has performed for four U.S. presidents, two popes, and the British royal family, as well as at ceremonies for the Olympic Games and the World Cup. He has been praised by such luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti, Franco Corelli (his beloved teacher and guide), Zubin Mehta, José Carreras, Lorin Maazel, Renée Fleming, and Celine Dion.

Portofino and Love

Love is a word not to say. Just like silence, once it is spoken it is already broken. Portofino is the exception: a magical bay that embraces the sea, where it can be spoken without blushing because everything, there, answers to the idea of love.

“Passione” is high temperature love. Despite its fame and despite its existence on the map, Portofino is a secret port. You can reach it following the hairpin bends of the coast, along the road that makes its way between the Mediterranean maquis and the rocks, or from the sea that steals its colour from the mounts and at night from the sky, almost becoming pink. But the best path, the one that provides sure arrival, is to create space within oneself:

Portofino then becomes the shelter behind closed eyelids, and it is at a short distance, just one stop away from the heart of each one of us.

The word love is not spoken, fair enough: too big, too fragile to hold it in a fistful of syllables. Portofino however is a world apart, try it to believe it: it is a place where it can be spoken and sung a thousand times a day, from dawn to sunset (or vice versa, even better), shamelessly, without any fear that something, as almost always happens elsewhere, comes along to break the enchantment.

To explain, to justify what happens in this silk handkerchief that covers the shoulders of the sea, we should perhaps calculate the perimeter of the square and of the houses which paint the amphitheatre, multiplying it by the shades of red and blue of its sunsets, we should then add, perhaps, the ripples of water that brush the tables when a boat leaves the jetty,  adding all this to the plugs of sand between the shutters and the sea,(a cobbled paving that, teasingly, puts the heels and the graceful itineraries of women to the test).

The alchemy that binds this word (love, passion: bread of life), to the curl of earth that springs out as a promontory in the arch of Liguria, is given by the fact that both of them live on the same impalpable food: emotion and sensitivity are their mysterious food, a strange mixture of tears and laughter. This is why for every story of affection that still has to be born, or that has just blossomed, for the extremely tender pain in remembering those who loving us have nurtured us with love, (be it for one day or for a lifetime), it is at Portofino (and in its separate world), that we should land.

Therefore here, in the eighth marvel of the world, Andrea Bocelli has decided to say that word and fix it in music, celebrating it as the most precious gift that Heaven has created for us. In Portofino, Bocelli. has sung passion.

The theatre and the Square11th and 12th August:

The facades of the narrow houses clinging to one another, represent the wings and the background, together with the mountains and the sea. The theatre is the Square, Portofino is the secret orchestra, and if lucky enough to be there, it is possible to be in unison, a spectator and actor. Already half way through the afternoon, the bay is swarming with guests and operators, barriers, cables and cameras. Together with the saline and the aromas of the restaurants, the cheerful and spicy flavour of expectation can be smelled.

An American broadcasting station will capture the event: for this special occasion: it has set up a huge amount of floodlights, it has seduced an entire pier with its incandescent glasses as well as numerous balconies, lodges and roof terraces of the district. So it can do without the sun, and will create in the evening the magic of a surreal yet real set, filmed with every kind of light effects: spotlights on the stage and on the artists, but also on the forest overlooking the houses, over the masts of the moored sail boats, on the green outline of the promontory, at the top of which stands a maritime pine, that protects the local castle just like a giant umbrella.

During summer, and for several decades, many of the most famous people in the world, have been visiting the bay (the entire bay can be covered in just a few minutes). And they sit at tables, they wander around the quay, they search for shade, they glance at the sea and at the shop windows of this landing place that does not look like anything else in the world. The reason, that everybody knows but that often nobody knows how to express with simplicity is that here, everything answers to the idea of love.

Therefore it is normal, it is a venial sin, the fact that Portofino is a jealous port, an exclusive place which its inhabitants want all to themselves (perhaps because they fear that the crowd might shatter this enchantment). But a place where even those who come from the sea, want it as a secluded private jet set area. But a place where even I, who in Portofino can just afford an ice cream (because faced with love, comfort has nothing to do with it), where maybe even you, living on the other side of the world, may stop and think: “how nice it would be if nobody were here, nobody but this crib and the person we love!”.

Andrea Bocelli knows love (and passion) as his own home, as if it were the scent of his own house. A house very much desired, wooed, sought after and received, and finally furnished slowly and with care, marked by dearest memories yet never closed: on the contrary,renewed every day, with the windows opened up to the wind and to the sun. His story tells us all about this, this art he has served and experienced, and also the art of his biography. Without love, without feelings, the only reason for being here, Bocelli would be a good tenor who – with a beautiful voice – sings songs. Instead he is the voice of many people in the world, millions who identify their most genuine and precious feelings in his singing,unknown friends who ask him to tell the story of their emotions through music.

For his new CD a homage to love and passion from the title to the very last piece, Andrea has chosen a selection that includes six different languages…. For the next one, a very much awaited pop production that the two evenings in Portofino have captured in a “special” event and anticipated to the visitors present, to be subsequently transmitted on Valentine’s Day 2013, Bocelli sings in French and in Italian, in Neapolitan dialect and in Portuguese, in English and in Spanish. Because love is spoken and sung, in every corner of the world.

The list includes masterpieces, like those that anybody can sing, and if you were to ask for the most famous songs of all times, they would be duly listed in the classification, as well as songs that have already enchanted the Italian audience throughout the years, but without having an adequate international chance (up to now), to propose their beauty everywhere.   The selection does not follow the shrewdness of the market, but the criteria of the personal tastes of Andrea.

A taste that has been fatally combined, ever since the Nineties, with the choices of the public, and which corresponds to what we would like to listen to.

The lyrical tenor who appreciates pop music and who has been part of this elite circle for more than twenty years, pulls a chain of pearls out of his top hat of memories, of meetings, of emotions, of his professional youth, of when he made his way up working in a local piano bar: they are the notes of some of the most beautiful songs ever. They represent the  soundtrack of our life, timeless pages, united by the love that Andrea has brought to them and by love tout-court, the engine and container of this further fascinating project.

Travel companions, under the falling stars of the August coast, some new entries but most of all Andrea’s old friends… A wonderful group, from David Foster to Chris Botti, from Helene Fischer to Sandy Leah, a pool of musicians who have collaborated and supported the word of love that Andrea has spoken IN Portofino.

A separate world, along the Mediterranean coast, where everything is possible: even that the charming voice of Édith Piaf comes to life to perform the duet in the dreamy “La vie en rose”, that expresses an unshakable faith in the power of love. Where also Veronica Berti, talking of love, where the companion of this earthly adventure of Bocelli has sung with her  man, that smiling and sweet song (“Something Stupid”) that Frank and Nancy Sinatra had already sung in the Sixties.

The show starts before the sun falls: the deep and confidential sound of Chris’s trumpet and then the voice of Andrea, the piano of David, the orchestra…. This is a clean-cut sensation and there is no solution in terms of continuity before and after the concert: even before, even after this range of love songs, Portofino was there to suggest the same words. During the first part, music proceeds together with the symphony of colours of the sky. When light slowly fades away and disappears, the game of seduction of the floodlights and of the illuminations begins, drawing the facades one by one, lights that become incandescent fruits among the branches of the butter-bushes that overlook the square.

Among the public, a concentration of important names in the world of art, finance, politics, aristocracy and entrepreneurs; in the audience the famous singer and composer Paul Anka, also the actor Michael Caine… and for another two hours it is time for sighs and senses. A party for all, except perhaps for the artists involved and most of all for Andrea, because, as in all things, a song also requires tenacity, concentration, commitment, it asks for love (and love has a price that must be paid). Andrea says: “Singing a song is like whispering in the ear of a child”. Apparently nothing simpler but in fact nothing could be as complicated: because when we make mistakes with children, they easily catch us out, and then, if we are  insincere we are no longer believed, and we lose our charm and liability just like the snow melts under the sun.

Luckily, it will be a CD (signed “Sugar”, as always). Luckily it will be a show, the one captured by the American channel PBS in Portofino that will be transmitted throughout the world: a nice way of letting people know that the fairytale of love and passion is not a fairytale but an everyday reality to be re-conquered. Furthermore a nice way of by-passing that venial  sin, with an affectionate sneer, that wants Portofino painted as an exclusive, mundane and jealous port, a place for very few. Now we can only wait for the dawn of the next spring when the record and video will be available to everybody.

“Among the pleasures of life music is only second to love. But love itself is music”: Aleksandr Puskin wrote this while Bocelli has remembered it and even sung it, in a bay dedicated to love and passion on these two unforgettable August evenings.

Giorgio De Martino