San Francisco is days away from experiencing the wonder of Andrea Bocelli for the first time. The legendary singer will perform at the Chase Center on December 5, marking his first performance in the city by the bay. He will perform with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus.
Bocelli is sure to sing selections from his beautiful new Si Forever collection, which is in heavy rotation in my home and car this week…along with his 2009 holiday masterpiece, My Christmas.
During our EXCLUSIVE conversation, Bocelli promised he would ring in the holidays in San Francisco — and he struck me as a guy who is true to his word.
“Beyond the content of My Christmas (which was largely recorded in my home studio, thus in the real atmosphere of warmth and closeness that a family creates, even more so during that time of year), during the San Francisco concert there will, of course, be the chance to impart the message of joy and spiritual reflection that Holy Christmas brings,” Bocelli said. “It is a holiday that I love, precisely for its deep religious meaning, which reminds us of the miracle of the life that is born and of the love that protects it – eternally.”
While the thought of any Bocelli performance leaves me aflutter, the prospect of hearing him sing Christmas carols live renders me on the edge of my proverbial seat. If you’ve not heard his My Christmas album, correct that today. Ten years ago this season, I gave away copies of it to everyone on my Christmas list. It is a true aural wonder.
In addition to impeccable versions of carols like “White Christmas” and “Angels We Have Heard On High,” My Christmas includes stunningly gorgeous duets with Natalie Cole, Reba McEntire, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, classical star Katherine Jenkins…and The Muppets! If your house isn’t decorated for Christmas when you put the album on, you’ll be searching the closet for holly and garland by the time Bocelli and Company wrap things up.
My Christmas was produced by the equally-legendary David Foster, who’s bringing his Hitman Tour to Modesto in January. I asked Foster about the prospect of reuniting with Bocelli in the studio, perhaps for a few more buoyant Christmas carols.
“I’m not sure, because when I walked out of the studio three years ago, he was one of the first people who I talked to,” Foster EXCLUSIVELY shared. “I said ‘Look, we’ve made a lot of albums together, but I’m not making albums anymore.’ We’re still friends, but he’s moved on from me. I don’t think I would be on his list to call right away to do it.”
“But we SHOULD probably do it,” Foster continued. “I would go back into the studio to do some bonus tracks for a Christmas album with him, for sure.”
Ok. We’re half-way there. Now, we only need Bocelli buy-in!
“David is a dear friend and an extraordinary professional,” Bocelli replied, after hearing of Foster’s interest in working with him again. “Our partnership is well-established and prolific. Every time we share the stage or we work on a new record together, we are in perfect harmony and, more than anything else, we have fun. Ours is a collaboration that springs from mutual respect and genuine affection, too. He is a lovely and extremely reliable person to work with.”
“David has a natural born talent for music and great instincts that are unrivaled in a certain repertoire,” Bocelli continued. “His extraordinary musical sensitivities allow him to understand what the audience wants to hear, better than anyone else. He is a whiz at finding the right arrangements, at orchestration, [and] he has the gift of making everything he touches turn to gold!”
“So [another] collaboration? It is undoubtedly not a case of “if” but “when”, because for me it is and always will be a pleasure.”
As one of the most cherished religious texts reads, it is finished!
We await that next Bocelli / Foster Yuletide project, and Foster’s January 22 show at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto.
We brace ourselves for Bocelli in San Francisco on December 5.
And lest I forget, and for the very first time this season: