Andrea Bocelli killed it for a fashionable audience at Climate Pledge Arena on Mother’s Day 2023.
To say the performance was heavenly would be an understatement! Bocelli’s voice soared with clarity and elegance that few artists can match. The symphony warmed us up with the classically dramatic “O Fortuna.” This piece was so powerful that I expected to see knights invade Climate Pledge Arena. Bocelli was joined on the stage by Isabel Leonard to perform a masterful rendition of “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici.”
I love it when performers transport the audience to a different time and space. Bocelli and Leonard did just that. It sounds cliché’ to use phrases like “Out of Body” but that is exactly what it was. Isabel Leonard’s voice, timbre, and control were so precise, that it was hard to comprehend.
Edward Parks joined Bocelli on Carmen‘s “Habanera.” Parks’ rich tones were easily a match for Bocelli’s clear voice. At one point, they held a note that seemed to last forever. Parks’ deep, rich voice grabbed the soul of the fans, and they were such willing participants.
What can be said about the orchestra and the choir? They never missed a beat. The show would not have been the same with a lesser orchestra.
After a 20-minute intermission, the orchestra slowly took the stage, playing a Harry Potter medley with strings, horns, and percussion that took us on a journey through a mysterious forest. The conductor sometimes encouraged the audience to clap in time with the orchestra.
Bocelli joined the orchestra on stage in a blue jacket and wished the mothers in the audience a happy Mother’s Day. While singing “Mamma” during his Mother’s Day celebration, the backdrop visually changed to a black and white photos of Sophia Loren and other mothers. The images of mothers included US WWII G.I.s in WWII, ending with a beautiful photo of Bocelli and “mamma” Andrea Bocelli.
The choir joined Bocelli singing “Funiculì, funiculà,” with images of Italy playing on the back screen. Sexy male and female Flamenco dancers entered the stage on opposite sides dancing dramatically until they embraced on stage left as the light changed to red.
Bocelli and Amy Manford sang a sexy as-hell duet “Maria” while an elegant female Ballet dancer danced with a partner. At the end of “Maria”, the Ballerina placed her head on Bocelli’s shoulder romantically. Manford and Bocelli sang “Tonight” from West Side Story.
Zucchero Fornaciari sang “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker in a way that would have made Cocker proud. His gravelly voice matched his appearance. The crowd loved it. Zucchero then started singing in Italian.
Zucchero brought out an acoustic guitar signing with Bocelli, the ballerina joining them. The crowd began clapping in time with them. As Zucchero and Bocelli sang, the fans lit their phone lights like fireflies or stars. A tribute to Luciano Pavarotti appeared on the backdrop.
As you can imagine, this show at Climate Pledge Arena was a major sensory overload of greatness. Right when I thought I saw everything I could handle, Bocelli sang one of my favorite songs, “Nessun Dorma.” I just love that song and Bocelli was perfect like he was all night. It was truly a wonderful experience.