an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Breaking: Bocelli crashes out of Romeo, ordered to cancel all commitments

The tenor Andrea Bocelli has been forced to cancel his last performance of Roméo et Juliette in Genoa after being taken to hopsital in Pisa with acute pharyngitis.

The French tenor Jean Francois Borras substituted in the final performance.

Reports from Genoa say that Bocelli’s voice was under strain throughout the run. Some suggest he bit off too big an operatic role.

Here’s some more rehearsal video.

We wish him better.

And here’s a doorstep interview.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Caroline Gane says:

    I attended both of Bocelli’s performances as Romeo.
    His voice was under strain, but that was because he had been suffering from bronchitis, then flu, not because of an inability to sing the role. .
    He was very generous, or foolish perhaps given that he could have done damage to this vocal chords, in singing the role twice, and I think the majority of the audience enjoyed his singing, certainly on the Sunday, when he was loud and strong. His French was good and his acting and mobility on stage were excellent.
    I was in Galleria first night and there was no time when I couldn’t hear him, the same on the Sunday when I sat in first row centre. I accept he is not as loud as other tenors, but that is not always what is wanted.
    He has a uniquely beautiful voice and that is what draws people to him.

    I also saw the performance with Borras, who was very good, a young tenor to watch out for.

    It was an excellent production with a good cast, and an orchestra very ably led by Luisi and then Rota.

    • What I don’t understand is why Bocelli doesn’t know how awful he sounds. Was he sick when he was taped in rehearsal? Such an awful performance. Corelli is his mentor. Has he listened to his rehearsal on YouTube? If not, someone needs to give him honest feedback. This is not an operatic voice.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Mary, Franco Corelli died on October 29th, 2003.

        Otherwise, I couldn’t agree more with your opinion on Bocelli’s voice and singing.

        • I meant that Andrea has been listening to Corelli recordings almost from Bocelli’s birth. How could he listen to those recordings and then to his own recordings and not hear the difference. Bocelli is an intelligent man, however, his operatic ambitions, and the adulation of his fans, have truly blinded him to his own vocal limitations with an operatic repertoire. He needs to stick with the repertoire he does best.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            Absolutely, and maybe he should listen to Alfredo Kraus and Nicolai Gedda to get some sense of style. I can’t help wondering what Bocelli’s fans would think of those two great tenors.

  2. So, he can’t sing ‘proper’ opera? Told you so!

  3. One can only wish him the best – that he takes perhaps misguided advice from the likes of Luisi and whatever
    other hangers on is unfortunate, he was never even a decent lower level “opera star ” as witnessed by
    past attempts one of which I heard and came away wondering whatever could he be thinking . He sings
    pleasantly enough for an undemanding audience who adore him and he should stay in that venue. The role requires a certain elegance of sound and phrasing which is beyond Bocells’ ability . You wonder about the
    the folk that attend to him – do they have tin ears ? Where is their musical integrity to say” no you are not for
    this “.So he leaves with all kinds of excuses contrived or not ,when in reality he is a few steps above a pop singer.
    The pros that surround him should be run out of town. They will ruin whatever is left of his voice by pretending
    it is other than what it is . Hope he recovers soon and gets back to where he belongs .

    • Depressed in the USA says:

      I wish Mr. Bocelli well, and I hope his voice has not been permanently damaged by this escapade.

      Hopefully this will at least retrain Luisi from using him as “Siegfried” in next year’s Ring cycles at the Met!

  4. A couple of these responses are unnecessary and not particularly nice. Mr. Bocelli obviously gave it his all, did his best and is now facing a vocal issue. It is simply unkind to clap when someone is injured.

    I hope he enjoyed the experience he had and I wish him a fast and full recovery.

    Thank you, Caroline, for your report.

    • Nobody is making fun of Bocelli’s illness here. The issue is rather whether his attempts at singing full opera roles caused the illness.

      What the above commentators have to say about the awfulness of Bocelli’s voice is nothing that has not been said for more than the last decade when he was healthy and in the full “bloom” of his vocal abilities.

      To a musically trained ear, Bocelli’s singing is sheer torture or the cause of riotous laughter. Hopefully the latter, since that is healthier, and one hopes that Bocelli can produce at least some positive effects on people who are who have musical sensibilities.

      Bocelli is nothing but a money printing press for his managers and, presumably, himself. Nothing wrong with making money, but selling Bocelli as a real opera singer instead of a pop phenomenon is like selling snake oil with the claim it cures all illnesses.

  5. He just came off of a…how many months?…American tour. He had the support and the technique to survive singing a mixture of pop and opera while on that tour. Every spring, the allergies come. He’s said he suffers from allergies. He gets a cold and doesn’t rest. The cold turns into bronchitis, and no one can sing with bronchitis. So…now he has no voice and his body is forcing him to rest. I went through this for years (not the touring, the yearly bouts of bronchitis and not being able to sing). He’ll be back. And yes, we love him. He has a unique sound, a vulnerable sound. Far less ego comes across when he sings than with other singers–which is also part of why I love listening to him and will forgive him for not being technically perfect. He has heart, which is something a great many singers–popular or operatic–lack. You can point out his faults. Those of us who listen to him overlook them. Health to you, Mr. Bocelli. Even racehorses have to rest.

  6. Andrew Powell says:

    Just for the record, there are five (5) performances in the run, which ends on March 4. Luisi conducts all but the third. Bocelli sang the first two, Borras the third, and José Bros is slated for the last two. Maite Alberola was the Juliette, handing off to Alessandra Marianelli for the Bros dates.

  7. Mary – Must refer you to the musicologist Anna Russell whose observation on singers will help resolve
    where Mr. Bocelli fits — she observed that ” Most singers have resonance where their brains ought to be “……so
    much for the intelligent man . Every time he tried “live ” opera he was a disaster – it seemed not to teach
    him anything – is it because he listens to the likes of Luisi and friends that he throws caution to
    the winds , ends up in a mess and then finds every excuse to justify a false move . Are his agents incompetent ?
    When will he learn that as a pop singer with a great following he is in his element – they demand nothing but
    a pleasant sound of sorts and a show of earnest sincerity and for that adore him and he is a great success.. He
    will never get an honest feed back as long as those that surround him get $$$$$$$$$$. The sad part is
    when whatever voice he has goes , they’ll have him out the door before you can say Corelli …..Let’s hope
    he gets over this mess with whatever lame excuses they will now dig up – “allergy season ” long tours etc”
    and at last realize the opera stage is not for him and he continues to play to the great audience he now has ,
    a vast audience which is a vain wish of many an opera star .

  8. janeyre4ever says:

    I usually never write comments to these posts, however I strongly believe people need to speak up about someone we care very much about, such as Andrea Bocelli. He is immensely loved and appreciated as an above average performer, both for his voice and the sincerity he projects. Yet, even a novice like me detects something wrong with his operatic performances. He has good theatrics but his voice pales in comparison. He seems to suffer when singing opera. Why do that to yourself. Enjoy the gift you do have and make the best of it.
    We all wish him a speedy recovery from whatever ails him as well as best of luck to him and his fiancee, Veronica on the much anticipated birth of their child.

  9. Now lets see if he shows up in Bahrain on Thursday night. Apparently its sold out, the crowd won’t be too happy if he doesnt.

    • They’ll get their money back I guess; that’s what many Bahraini care most about isn’t it, money?

  10. I’m glad he won’t turn up in Bahrain, though of course I am saddened to hear he is unwell. Many tried to contact him to press his conscience about the human rights violations in Bahrain hoping he would not wish to align himself with the repressive regime.
    It’s easier to say, Look at Syria, you wouldn’t want to be linked to Assad would you, because of the atrocities. people would understand! Bahrain;’s situation is hidden, for the most part. But that situation is extremely troubling. There is torture, excessive repression, impunity and a lot of money paid to Qovis, a PR firm, who try to distort the facts (i/e. lie) to protect the Kingdom.

an ArtsJournal blog