Andrea Bocelli, the international superstar tenor returns to Great Performances once again to delight fans with Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino, a new concert special in which he puts classical music aside for an evening of international favorites inspired by the breathtaking coastal setting of Portofino, Italy.
The Italian fishing village and upmarket resort is noted for its picturesque harbor and frequent celebrity visitors, as demonstrated by a kaleidoscopic photo montage featuring screen legends Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, and current personalities ranging from Denzel Washington to Ellen DeGeneres.
With 16-time Grammy-winner David Foster as both music director and keyboard accompanist, Bocelli is also joined by trumpeter Chris Botti. Under the stars, beside the shimmering harbor waters, and with a rapt audience including Paul Anka, Sir Michael Caine, and Italian actress Ornella Muti, Bocelli performs some of the world’s most famous love songs, including “Senza Fine,” “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás,” “Bésame Mucho,” “Champagne,” “Love Me Tender,” and in duet with the late, legendary Edith Piaf, “La Vie en Rose,” while his real-life love Veronica Berti looks on adoringly.
Bocelli sings in six languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Neapolitan). The sensual sound is rounded out by Cuban, Brazilian, and Portuguese rhythms.
Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino airs on Great Performances in March on PBS. (Check local listings.) (In New York, THIRTEEN will premiere the special Sunday, March 3 at 9 p.m.)
Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino is, in essence, a sequel to his earlier Great Performancesspecial, Amore. As with that concert, which featured timeless masterworks, the latest includes several beloved classics such as “Love Me Tender,” “Il Nostro Incontro” (the theme from Cinema Paradiso), “Sara Settembre,” (better known to English-speaking audiences as Neil Diamond’s “September Morn,” and translated into Italian by Bocelli himself), and “La mia via” (“My Way”), with the composer sitting harborside.
Since Great Performances introduced American television audiences to Bocelli with 1997′sRomanza concert, Bocelli has been featured in a notable series of Great Performancesspecials, including Sacred Arias, Amore, Vivere, My Christmas and American Dream, his spectacular “Statue of Liberty” concert from New Jersey’s Liberty State Park. Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park aired in December 2011. He wasaccompanied by the New York Philharmonic, under the direction of music director Alan Gilbert, the spectacular event being Bocelli’s special gift to New York City.
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
The musical program at press time is set to include:
Il Nostro Incontro (theme from “Cinema Paradiso”) (with Chris Botti)
Anema e Core (with Caroline Campbell)
Quizás, Quizás, Quizás (with Caroline Campbell)
A Mano A Mano
Corcovado (with Brazilian singer Sandy)
La Vie En Rose (with excerpts performed by Edith Piaf)
Qualche stupido “ti amo” (Somethin’ Stupid) (with Veronica Berti)
Love Me Tender
Sarà Settembre (September Morn)
When I Fall in Love (with Helene Fischer & Chris Botti)
Roma Nun Fà La Stupida Stasera (“Rome, Don’t Act Silly Tonight”)
Era Già Tutto Provisto
Love in Portofino (with Caroline Campbell)
The Ensemble Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Giacomo Loprieno.
Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino is directed by David Horn.
For Great Performances, Mitch Owgang and Andrea Cotromano are producers; Bill Kabel is associate producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn and Filippo Sugar are executive producers.
Major funding for Great Performances is provided by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Paul W. Zuccaire Foundation, The Starr Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and PBS.
EXPERIENCE ROMANCE WITH ANDREA BOCELLI IN CINEMAS AROUND THE WORLD THIS SPRING
Andrea Bocelli: Love In Portofino In Cinemas From February 14th
Andrea Bocelli, the world’s most beloved tenor, is making his cinema debut this Valentine’s Day, as his new Love In Portofino concert is released for a limited engagement at cinemas around the world. Love In Portofino – which arrives in cinemas as Bocelli releases his new studio album, Passione – was recorded in August 2012 as Bocelli hosted an intimate and truly romantic outdoor concert in one of the most beautiful settings on earth. The cinema event also features a world exclusive interview with Bocelli filmed at his Italian home.
Playing to a specially invited audience at the Piazzetta in Portofino, Andrea Bocelli: Love In Portofino allows cinema audiences to experience the most successful classical solo artist ever as he covers the most famous love songs in the world. During the evening, Bocelli shares the stage with a sensational ensemble of supporting talent, including Caroline Campbell on violin, German star Helene Fischer and Brazilian singer-songwriter Sandy on vocals, Chris Botti playing trumpet, and Bocelli’s fiancée Veronica Berti joining him for a duet of Something Stupid, all backed by a 40 piece orchestra & rhythm section.
The intimate and romantic occasion was captured live and produced by a host of award winning talent, including 16-time Grammy Award winning producer David Foster, and will screen in select cinemas around the world starting in February, in pristine digital cinema quality and full 5.1 surround sound. Full details of cinema listings, and links to book tickets, can be found at http://www.andreabocelli.com/loveinportofino.
The world premiere of the release, with Andrea Bocelli in attendance, will take place in London on January 21st.
Filippo Sugar of Sugar Music says “Watching the world’s most amazing tenor perform at such an intimate occasion, against the stunning backdrop of sunset over Portofino, is an experience not to be missed. The cinema screening allows audiences to enjoy some of the most romantic songs in the world, performed by some of the world’s best artists alongside the iconic Andrea Bocelli. With the opportunity as well to hear Andrea’s thoughts on love and romance in an exclusive interview, it’s a special date not to be missed.”
Andrea Bocelli’s new album, Passione, released globally on January 29th on Sugar / Verve Music Group, is a stunning collection of Mediterranean love songs featuring duets with global pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado and the late Edith Piaf. The album is also produced by David Foster, who produced Bocelli’s 2006 release Amore, which sold more than 4.2 million copies. 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.
ANDREA BOCELLI: LOVE IN PORTOFINO
Running time: 82 mins
Mr Wolf presents with Arts Alliance Media a Sugar SRL Production
Director: David Horn
Executive Producers: Filippo Sugar and David Horn
Executive Producer for Additional Footage: Alfred Chubb
Producers: Andrea Cotromano and Mitch Owgang
Music Production: David Foster
Cinema Paradiso (featuring Chris Botti)
Anema e Core (featuring Caroline Campbell)
Quizas Quizas Quizas
A Mano A Mano
Corcovado (featuring Sandy)
La Vie en Rose
Something Stupid (featuring Veronica Berti)
Love me Tender
When I Fall in Love (featuring Helene Fischer, Chris Botti)
Roma Nun Fa la Stupida Stasera
Era Gia Tutto Previsto
Love in Portofino (featuring Caroline Campbell)
By ASHLEY SOUTHALL and EMMARIE HUETTEMAN
WASHINGTON — The lights were low in the concert hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday evening — except for a spotlight scouring the room in search of the elusive host of the spring gala. Moments before, a video reel had flashed clips of the No. 1 hits he has written or produced over nearly four decades in the music business, prompting applause, murmurs of recognition and even a little singing from those in the audience. In his introduction, the center’s chairman, David M. Rubenstein, had called him “the ultimate music man and the ultimate hit man.”
But where was the man of the evening, David Foster?
“I’m here!” he shouted from among the orchestra seats, breaking an awkward silence and shaking hands as he made his way to the stage.
Among a long roster of accomplishments that includes winning 16 Grammys, Mr. Foster, 62, is the man who produced Whitney Houston’s biggest hits from the 1992 film “The Bodyguard,” paired Natalie Cole with her father’s voice for a rerecording of “Unforgettable” and discovered Josh Groban and Michael Bublé. He is currently the chairman of Verve Music Group.
Playing to an audience of about 2,400 at the center’s annual gala, Mr. Foster struck a casual, intimate tone, worrying aloud that he might say the wrong thing and interacting with the stray audience member who chose the wrong moment to find the restroom. But that only seemed to please the audience more, who applauded appreciatively to his tales of the three ex-wives living on the spoils of his success, his way of introducing the songs that made him famous.
In addition to running through the highlights of his career — including songs like Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real,” Earth, Wind & Fire’s “After the Love Has Gone” and Whitney Houston’s version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” — Mr. Foster performed with a few famous friends, including Chaka Khan, Jewel and Peter Cincotti. The trumpeter Chris Botti, the violinist Caroline Campbell and the soprano Angel Blue also performed.
Fitting for an evening intended to raise money for arts education, Mr. Foster highlighted lesser-known artists. Among his guest stars were FernandoVarela, a Puerto Rican tenor he discovered on YouTube, and Bárbara Padilla, a Mexican-American soprano and a cancer survivor, who was runner-up on the fourth season of “America’s Got Talent.”
“I came to the United States looking for a second opinion, but I ended up with a scholarship to the University of Houston,” Ms. Padilla, who is in remission from Hodgkins lymphoma, said as she took the stage. “One thing led to another, and here I am.”
But Mr. Foster was still on the lookout for new talent, sweeping through the audience in search of participants for what he called “Kennedy Center Idol.” And if his theatrics are to be believed, then he just happened to pluck from the audience Schatar Sapphira, a reality show actress and aspiring singer, who belted out a few bars of “Summertime” from the Gershwins’ opera “Porgy and Bess.”
Mr. Foster and friends also performed with the United States Military Wives Choir, a group of about 40 women whose husbands are active servicemen or military veterans.
“Film this, put it up and send it viral, because we want to get the message out that we support our men and women wherever they are,” he said, urging the audience to break out their smartphones. “It’s not political, it’s just support.”
The one-night fund-raiser, which closed with a performance of Mr. Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” featuring the Children’s Chorus of Maryland and the Bryn Mawr School Choir, brought in $2.4 million for the center’s arts, outreach and education programs, Mr. Rubenstein said.