Sensation at Andrea Bocelli Concert: a Standing Ovation for Russian Singer Aida During the Intermission



MOSCOW, August 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

At the concert on the 12th August in the pearl of the Italian riviera -Portofino, near Genoa – a Russian singer caused a sensation in an improvised musical competition hosted by the maestro.
On the 12th of August, Portofino hosted an open performance by the world-class tenor Andrea Bocelli. The concert producer was famous Canadian singer David Foster.
During the intermission, the maestro improvised the way he always does, decided to invite spectators to sing something. A young lady rose from the front rows where the VIP guests, famous actors, producers and musicians, including Michael Caine, Paul Anka and Mike Medavoy, were seated, and sung several bars of a pretty song. She turned out to be the daughter of Italian movie star Ornella Muti.
The young lady was applauded and the maestro asked, “Who else would like to sing?” One of the spectators pointed David to his shy neighbour, and the producer gladly invited the Eastern-looking girl to the stage. She introduced herself as ‘Aida from Kazan, Russia’. She sang Lauretta’s famous soprano aria “O mio bambino caro” from Puccini’s opera “Gianni Schicchi”. David Foster accompanied her, without hiding his amazement. The spectators gave her a standing ovation, chanting “Bravo!”
Our research showed that the shy singer was Aida Garifullina, a young singer from Kazan and graduate of the Vienna Conservatory. Aida Garifullina’s performances have included duets not only with world-famous stars, but also first-rank Russian entertainers. We found Aida’s beautiful renditions of famous arias and romances on her official website,
Earlier, on the 9th of August, Aida was noted in London where a charity evening entitled ‘Russian Rhapsody’ was arranged at the Russian House for famous Olympic guests, at which she was the sole performer.
On the 11th of August, Aida was invited back to the Russian House to congratulate the Olympic champions together with popular rock bands, Russian Olympics Committee President Alexander Zhukov, and the Chairman of the Sochi-2014 Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko.
Aida’s close attention to the Olympics is likely due to her important mission: Aida is the ambassador of the World Student Games 2013, which will take place in her home town of Kazan.

SOURCE R.I.M Porter Novelli


David Foster and Michael Buble Headlines Heart Foundation Gala



Yolanda Hadid, David Foster and Gigi Foster – The Heart Foundation 2012 Gala – Arrivals – The Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Boulevard – Hollywood, CA, USA © Winston Burris / PR Photos


By Alesandra Dubin | Posted May 14, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT


The Hollywood Palladium was the backdrop for Thursday night’s Heart Foundation gala honoring Dr. P.K. Shah and Kimberly Shah. The event drew a major celebrity lineup, with Dana Carvey opening, Michael Buble headlining a 60-minute set with a 12-piece orchestra, musical director David Foster, a guest appearance by Paul Anka, and Ryan Seacrest serving as M.C. Director of operations and donor relations Catherine Erlinger oversaw the event, tapping Dave Merrell and AOO Live, a new division of AOO Events, to produce.

AOO built the look for the event around a tangerine and cherry red color palette. Guest tables on the club floor were either rounds or king tables intermixed to allow for maximum seating. Shimmer tangerine or red linens draped tables, which were topped with modular centerpieces in both low-lying and taller abstract cylinders filled with orange and fuchsia amaryllis and hydrangea in complementing colors. Bronze crocodile Chameleon chairs and antique bronze-gold chargers rounded out the look. Floor-to-ceiling panels of bubbled and ice velvet white-on-white burnout sheer fabric framed the giant regency lamps, lending an intimate feel.

Dramatic lighting drenched the room in several different rich color palettes throughout the evening. White burnout fabric flats backed by floor-to-ceiling crystal curtains surrounding a 21- by 12-foot screen for multimedia presentations and IMAG decorated the stage. A floating logo backed an acrylic podium for speakers and the award presentation.

The foundation honored the Shahs with the Steven S. Cohen Humanitarian award, with Foster presenting it to the couple after surprising them with an impromptu performance from him and his friends, Anka and Buble.

David Foster discusses how he discovers future music superstars

David Foster and Jackie Evancho

Robin Leach –

When hit-maker David Foster presents the second of his three monthly Mandalay Bay concerts Friday night, he’s going to introduce two unknown singers he believes will be America’s next superstars, just as he did when he ran a talent contest in Pennsylvania in 2008 and discovered tiny Jackie Evancho. She has become such a recording giant that she will co-star with him at his third concert here in December.

With David, you always get surprise guests on top of the announced lineup. This Friday, he presents “Glee” favorite Charice, Chaka Khan, Paul Anka and Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, plus the two he believes will deliver knockout performances.

In an exclusive interview, David told me: “This is actually now my fifth time at Mandalay Bay. I’m loving it. Philip has the voice of Earth, Wind & Fire and my favorite band of all time. We just toured Asia together, and he just knocked it out of the park every night, so I’m so excited. And when you look at their songs and their hits, Philip has had so many, it’s just phenomenal. Chaka Khan has the voice that I always wanted to write songs for. Charice has the voice of the next everybody.



“We’ve done this ‘Born to Sing USA’ competition, and we’ll have a couple of great winners come out and sing. I’m going to add some video to this show, which I haven’t done before — highlights of my career and all the different stars that will be kind of unique. I just talked to my friend Paul Anka, I think he’s going to make a guest appearance, and maybe a couple people like that, so it’s always exciting. I think the people honestly always get their money’s worth. I like the notion of giving people something that they just couldn’t buy in a show that has all this diversity of entertainment.

“That’s my goal. My ultimate goal is that it will be ‘David Foster and Friends,’ and you won’t even have to ask who’s there. You’ll just go ‘well, it’s David Foster and Friends,’ that means it will be really good and packed with solid singers and musicians.”

When David appeared here six weeks ago, he stepped out from the background for the first time of just being the piano player and music arranger to star as himself. “It went great. I cut my teeth sort of on the Andre Agassi events I did all those years that I hosted in Vegas, and that prompted ‘David Foster and Friends.’ It feels very natural to me, and I’m out front for all time now.”

“However, for the third show next month, which is Christmas, with Jackie she’s going to carry a lot of the show. People just love her. She’s carrying the whole show herself, she’s so professional, she’s so adult, so mature, so seasoned. For me, it’s just going to be basically playing her album, and we might do some Christmas songs. I’ll do a little Christmas stuff maybe, in Friday’s show, that would be fun. I don’t want to say I’m riding her coattails, but she’s very comfortable doing it on her own, too. She is absolutely amazing, so we’ll have fun out there. I’ve never seen anything like it ever, Robin, nothing. She’s phenomenal.

“The first time I met her was when I held a singing contest, on my last American tour, she was 8. I had two singers in every city come up, and she was one of the two in Pennsylvania. She got up on stage and blew everybody’s mind. Unfortunately, she was up against a 19-year-old big, big singer, like a(n) (Andrea) Bocelli kind of singer, and Jackie at that time was doing a pop song, not her opera stuff, or her popera stuff, and he came out with a big song and won. But you know, that only made her better.

“I knew then that she was going to go onto something huge. I was blown away with her then. I remember meeting her family, I remember meeting her on the stage, she was 8 years old. She’s already amazing, and yet she’s still developing vocally. From the time we started making her record, there was a 4-month span, and at the end, it’s almost like I wanted her to re-sing everything because the one thing you can’t have when you’re 10 years old is you don’t have the lung capacity, the power, to do the money notes, hang on them and get louder with them. And by the end of the 4 months, her lungs had developed, and she’d really become amazing. Wait till you hear her next month. Beyond belief — a megastar! “

David is currently enjoying not only Jackie’s album success but also his pal Michael Buble’s Christmas album he produced. New Caesars Palace headliner Shania Twain sang a “White Christmas” duet on it. When David starts as the senior A&R executive at Universal Records in December, he plans to dig deeper with Shania’s talents.

“To the extent that she would want to do something with me, I’d love to do it with her, but I’m not exactly the perfect person for her, but we have a great mutual respect,” said David, pouring water on speculation he could be tapped to produce part of her 2012 Caesars show. “But we are doing a show together in April, so we see what happens,” he laughed as I pointed out all three of them are Canadians!

“Michael’s Christmas album was just released, and it’s just flying. It sold 143,000 copies in the first week. I think it’s going to do 5 million worldwide. Just huge. He’s owning it these days, I don’t know anybody else that can take that slot from him. I don’t think anybody in our lifetime is going to take that away. He’s all on his own.”

I had to ask David, who is known for his uncanny knack in finding extraordinary unknown talent, if he worried about not finding more because so many are being discovered by “X Factor,” “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice.”

“That’s actually a great, great question, but I think the shows probably encourage more people to get out there and enter anything they can. But ‘X Factor’ and ‘The Voice’ can’t be right all the time, so they’re going to miss some great ones. That means they’re going to let some great ones go in the Top 10 that shouldn’t have, so I think there is a plethora out there. I think there’s great talent in every nook and cranny of this Earth.

“I just did ‘Born to Sing Asia’ on our Asian tour, and we had some phenomenal singers, one of whom was a 15-year-old Indonesian girl who sang like Sarah Brightman, and I’m actually thinking of bringing her back here to the States — she was amazing. The two kids who entered in ‘Born to Sing USA’ will perform Friday, and they are just as amazing. The future superstars are out there just waiting for their shot.

“I can’t tell instantaneously that they’ve got ‘it,’ but what I can tell instantaneously is whether they can really sing or not. It’s the only thing I know. I don’t know if they’re a star, I don’t know if they are going to have hit records, I don’t know if they can, all I know is whether they can definitively sing or not. Being just a singer doesn’t make them a star or sell records. Being a singer does not guarantee anything other than you’re good.

“I could have never known that Michael Buble was a great songwriter. The first night when I saw him, and dragged him back to L.A., I could have never known. When I first saw Celine (Dion), all those years ago, I could have never known that she would become the polished superstar — all I knew was that I was seeing greatness. It’s a fascinating process. I think Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid have great eyes for talent — they have it figured out.”

After David’s show here Friday night, he gets ready to take part in the Dec. 8 opening at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles of “Story of a Voice,” a one-of-a-kind, limited-time exhibit of his friend and recording artist Andrea Bocelli. The exhibit runs through Feb. 12. On Dec. 9, the tenor operatic sensation launches his Andrea Bocelli Foundation with a gala dinner and performance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel starring David along with Tony Award winner Heather Headley, soprano Anna Maria Martinez and, as usual, some of David’s “Friends.” On Dec. 10, Andrea flies here for his third consecutive holiday appearance at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

David summed up: “I really enjoy playing Las Vegas. It’s always a great time, and for our next two shows, we’ve really got the best in store for our fans.”

Videos: David Foster and Friends – Mandalay Bay 5/9/09




Teenage star Charice Pempengco was one of the many performers who appeared at a concert organized by David Foster on Saturday, May 9.

The 17-year-old joined Cher, Clay Aiken, Donny Osmond, Brian McKnight and Paul Anka at the David Foster & Friends concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas to raise money for the David Foster Foundation, an organization established by the legendary composer and music producer in 1986 to provide financial and emotional help to the families of children needing organ transplants.

During the show, Charice thanked Foster and Oprah Winfrey for their help in her career.

“I would like to mention these people who are very special in my life,“ she said. “First, he is my fan, my producer, my mentor. He taught me a lot of things and of course he is my hero — David Foster. And of course I want to thank Oprah for believing in my dreams and of course believing in me. Thank you so much. I love you both.“

Foster has a long history of charitable efforts to help children. In 1997 he was honored with the United States Children’s Choice Award for his work supporting research into children’s cancer, leukemia, and AIDS.


David Foster and Friends – Mandalay Bay 5/9/09 videos from YouTube:


Heather Headley – Unbreak My Heart:

Katherine Jenkins:

Charice – The Power Of Love:

Charice – I Will Survive:

Philip Bailey – In The Stone:

Philip Bailey – After The Love Is Gone:

Clay Aiken – Hard To Say I’m Sorry:

Brian McKnight – I Swear:

Brian McKnight – Mornin:

Charice – Bodyguard Medley:

Charice – All By Myself:

Clay Aiken – You’re The Inspiration:

America The Beautiful (Finale):

Video Interview: David Foster and Friends backstage


David Foster



ET was exclusively behind the scenes with producer and songwriter extraordinaire David Foster for his star-studded show in Las Vegas last week, and we’ve got video of Cher and Donny Osmond backstage! Plus, Clay Aiken opens up about the courageous Farrah Fawcett.
Special guests who performed at David’s May 7 extravaganza at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino included Cher, Donny, Clay, Brian McKnight, Katherine Jenkins, Charice and Paul Anka.
‘Hit Man: David Foster and Friends,’ a one-night-only concert featuring David with Josh Groban, Katharine McPhee, Celine Dion and many more singing stars, is available on DVD now.