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bocelliIn an act of what can only be called ham-handed symbolism, President-elect Donald Trump has approached crooner Andrea Bocelli to sing at his inauguration. [Page Six]

  • Pia Ngere-Liu

    I surely hope he sings “Time to say good bye”!

    • “Con te partirò” might be even better.

  • JR

    What, Americans aren’t good enough for Trump?

  • simonelvladtepes

    Check the source of the title and which character sings it -- that’s one hell of a sense of humor.

  • LMacbeth

    A fraudster serenades another. They deserve each other.

    • Why is Bocelli a fraud? He is a microphone tenor in a long tradition of Italian tenors (and those of other ethnicities) who produce a tone that has the resonance of “opera singing” but who lack the power and stamina to sing roles live.

      You could start with the tenor Alessandro Valente who made the first records of the Turandot arias and several other “verismo” hits. He had made no effect live in his few appearances — he couldn’t be heard. He had a few years scrapping by in the lesser cabarets under an assumed name, either small rooms or voice amplified by the crude devices of the time. He was really cheap and Italian so he was hired for the records of “new music”. The records were so successful he received many invitations to give concerts and appear in operas. He declined them all. After some years of making good money through his records (when his first records did sensationally he refused to record further unless he got a retroactive royalty agreement) he “retired” from singing and invented the shower curtain rod. That was an odd thing for an Italian to do. But it secured his wealth. The records are enjoyable and he actually sang. But he wasn’t an opera singer.

      Or how about Mario Lanza? I grew up about six blocks from where his family still lived and his mother was Abbruzzese like my family. There is continuing debate (although it’s dying off of course) about whether he really could sing opera or just made the right kind of vocal noise that the mic loved and that with editing could sound convincing to the hordes that didn’t know very much. I heard every sort of assertion. But I think he may have done literally a hand full of live performances of a complete role (Pinkerton as a professional, Fenton in Nikolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor as a student and also act three of Boheme as a student).

      He sang in a long concert tour with piano, his co-singers were George London and Frances Yeend but some of those engagements may have included Imgard Seefried instead of Yeend (so London remembered but there doesn’t seem be any documentation). Thereafter he made movies and records.

      He does seem to have had an impressive natural endowment, at least in terms of timbre and range. Delores Wilson who sang with him for a short time in nightclubs, told me he always sounded better on mic and although audible without one, did not have the same impact. She also said he was very stupid and had trouble learning duets, and was baffled by roles. London told me that Lanza had a real voice, some issues with the top (like many young singers, London allowed) but had a very rare gift, a “song sense” that was convincing and effective whether he really knew what he was singing or not.

      Still Domingo — some idiot on Parterre today defended a REAL fraud in his baritone stage, something the idiot would not do for one of the dead ladies he memorializes in Strauss — Pavarotti and Carreras all credited the Lanza opera films with their own ambition to become professional tenors. By your definition Lanza was a “fraud” since he never pulled off a range of roles live anywhere.

      Josef Schmidt is worshiped today. But he NEVER sang without a microphone and when on the run from the Nazis on his way to a horrible and unjust death in Switzerland sang only a couple of performances of Boheme, apparently amplified also. Otherwise he did not sing complete operas. I also knew people who had known him, he was a smart man and a good musician with NO volume. Yet the records are very impressive. Was he a fraud?

      Bocelli began with an attractive, wide ranging voice, with the fast vibrato of old fashioned Italian tenors. He had the most flair in the kind of music that Lanza, Schmidt also did best — middle of the road pop songs that can benefit from an “operatic” sound. Those early records may not be to your taste but they are not disgraceful or fraudulent at all. That’s his voice on a mic, but unlike Domingo the tenor, Bocelli actually had a top that worked, a great deal of charm and some individuality of utterance.

      Unlike Domingo the tenor and now the grotesque barker calling itself a baritone, Bocelli did not need transpositions of higher music, or elaborate splicing in the studio, he sang as he sang (I was at a three day recording session and he really sang everything through, he didn’t like to chop songs up to be assembled later from the best takes of short sections and he vocalized up to a strong D6). In the last ten years it seems to me that Bocelli has had a decline in quality and ease although I haven’t listened extensively. (Lanza died or was killed — Mafia hit is the rumor — at 38, Schmidt was killed at 38, Bocelli is 58.)

      In opera, like Lanza and Schmidt and old Valente, Bocelli only sings on mic and doesn’t pretend otherwise (I think there have been about six or so live, unmiked performances in full roles. I saw the Werther which was small but more or less audible, otherwise well sung with feeling but he’s blind you know…) Bocelli’s complete opera performances are all on mic and are no more faked than anyone who records digitally (I take it you’ve never been to a session of a complete opera recording).

      So no, Bocelli is not a fraud. Unlike Trump he really knows what he professes to know — when I read the catastrophically stupid Parterre reviews of Met performances I can only imagine Bocelli’s laughter. Bocelli does read music, has had extensive musical training and absolutely loves not just opera but a wide range of music. Unlike Trump, Bocelli is a very smart man, a lawyer, widely read and sensitive, also probably gay (never spoken of and he is a father).
      Unlike Trump, Bocelli isn’t fooling anyone. He’s serious about what he does but the mic is there for all to see and he doesn’t venture into vocal music that he doesn’t have a background to sing (although he loves lieder, for example.)

      Now, only idiots believe anything about Trump other than he’s a criminal, a tax cheat and possibly a rapist. I HATE the people who voted for this transparent grotesque (although WHY isn’t HE reviewing for Parterre, he lives in New York?) and I am sick of those who think fools who no matter how tough their lives have voted to destroy themselves deserve sympathy.

      But people who like Bocelli’s early CDs of romantic pop spent their money as they chose and in my experience rarely make great claims for him beyond their having enjoyed what they’ve heard. He’s not a fraud.

      • I completely agree that Andrea Bocelli is not a fraud. Funny enough, a friend recently pointed out that he was a lawyer as MrsJC mentions. Apparently there are clips of him doing oral arguments on Youtube which is pretty neat.

        Personally, I think it’s kind of a miracle that he can sing as well as he can given his limitations. Whatsmore, any misconceptions or confusion people may have as to him being an opera singer is due to people’s own ignorance about opera, not on some malicious intent on his part to deceive people. That’s my humble opinion at least. It’s not his fault that many if not most people haven’t a clue as to what an un amplified voice sounds like in a theater or that people are in fact capable of singing without amplification. Many people arent exposed to it because they don’t have the means but others don’t because they simply don’t care to and that is their right.

        “Unlike Domingo the tenor and now the grotesque barker calling itself a baritone…” ????????????.

  • Krunoslav

    Surely Kat Jenkins is the ‘opera singer” for Trump.

  • Jamie

    I can only hope that he and Ted Nugent are rehearsing Journey to the Center of Your Mind