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Monday, 13 November 2017

Bucket List: Andrea Bocelli in Krakow

Dearest hearts,

I don't know about you but I have my very own #bucketlist and each time I manage to cross an item out, I get a sense of elation and accomplishment and pure joy. A #bucketlist is not an easy thing to do. It may be that some items you might never manage to cross out, it may happen that you will modify it in time, cross things out and add new ones... but bottom line is that the #bucketlist is your very own set of wishes that your heart desires to fulfil by the time your time runs out of this world. I have quite a few items on my list not yet done, but recently I've managed to cross out quite a few - having a baby by the time I turn 30, listening to Sting live and now... hearing the wonderfully talented Andrea Bocelli with my own ears. Andrea Bocelli's first concert in Poland was in Lodz, in 1999. Weirdly enough the next concert came only after 10 years, in 2009 - Warsaw. Since then he has been in Poland a couple of times but now, as part of my birthday present, I got tickets as a present from my adorable better half. For me and my mum and granny - it was a ladies night out kind of thing :) and I have enjoyed it immensely!
Andrea Bocelli in Krakow, Tauron Arena - 11.11.2017
There is so much that can be said about Andrea Bocelli. His solo career spans over 20 years! His songs are loved by many generations - all 3 of us: myself and mum and granny love him! Andrea Bocelli won numerous awards worldwide - Golden Globe for best song, World Music Awards for best classical musician of the world (4 times!), World Music Awards for bestselling Italian artist (3 times). He has sold over 80 millon albums and has million online fans on Facebook, following his every artistic move. Andrea's voice resonates and heals, he is a powerful image that states that one can conquer their fears and flaws and amaze the world. Losing eyesight is not the end of the world, you just have to believe and you will make it through. Andrea's talent has wonderfully been summed up by Celine Dion, who said that if God sang, he would sound like Andrea Bocelli. I have to agree, there is one thing listening to the CDs, vinil disc, live recordings or the regular studio ones, nothing beats a live session with the master himself!
The crowd inside Tauron Arena in Krakow, eagerly awaiting for Andrea Bocelli to come - 11.11.2017
On the 11th of November, on the Polish celebration day of Independence, starting at 7:20 pm at Tauron Arena, I had the pleasure of hearing Andrea Bocelli live - along with my Mum and Granny. I was pleasantly surprised by the early start - as a difference from the Sting Concert in September. The ticket said that the start is at 7 pm and I believe that they would have started at 7, have not the queues been to big (of people yet having to enter). I believe people expected, like myself, that if the ticket said 7 pm it would start around 8 pm. That's also probably why people were still coming in until about 8 pm. Their loss! The concert started at 7:20 pm and lasted until 9:20 pm - one 15-20 min break for the recalibration of the sound system. The first 20-30 min of the concert were a totally different quality from the premium one that the rest of the concert had! The orchestra and choir were Polish, additional special guests were also added (cold guitar group and ballet dancers) to the magic of the night. Andrea Bocelli though did not come alone. He came with the pop artist Ilaria Della Bidia - a Tuscan lady that since 2011 has been a guest during Andrea's concerts. Joining them was a lovely dark haired soprano, who's name I can shamefully admit I can not recall - she had a wonderful voice that blended well with Andrea's. Together, the whole team, presented songs from the album "Cinema" - a lovely reminded of those old time soundtracks that you can't help falling in love with.
It may come as an odd thing to go to a concert and see the artist have his eyes shut for the entire duration, yet Andrea can't see. He had problems with his eyesight since he was small and a bit during a football match rendered his eyesight completely down to zero. I cannot imagine how it would be one day to know the colours, see the sunset and then the next day everything to be turned to darkness - for the rest of your life. How it is to have one of your senses killed and then to rely on others; how ones voice can maybe "make up" for the great loss. It's true that once you lose something you gain another - some call it karma, some gift from God. Andrea Bocelli's voice is indeed one of a kind and it reaches slowly, but surely, into your soul. You won't realise it until you'll feel streams of tears running down your face, unable to stop them - that's what happened to the crowds inside the Tauron Arena in Krakow on 11.11.2017 - a night to be remembered.
Andrea sang 2 songs and then took a one song break, preserving his voice. He sang with his eyes closed, serious, sometimes smiling at certain pieces that he sang. I was able to hold in quite well and be all smiles until he started playing "Maria" - the song about the most beautiful girl in the world, "West Side Story". The orchestra was fantastic, the play of white lights on the crowd was like a spotlight for old cinema stars yet somehow soothing, the black-white video was perfectly old-school motioned and I could not help starting to tear up... slowly, peacefully, staring in awe at the beauty that a single human being can create through words and song. I think that many eyes were not left dry and Andrea must have felt That, the incredible moment that the crowd comes as one with the one who performs. We could all see him whiping away his tears, like the rest of us. It's incredible how a mass of thousands can come as one through a song.
The second song that got me crying again was "Canto Della Terra" - sang along with the wonderfully talented soprano.  The imagery put together by Andrea's team, throughout the concert, was fabulous and always right on point with every song that he performed. There were scenery pieces, places from Paris to New York to Rome to the desert in Sahara; there were pieces from Frederico Fellini's masterpieces - like the shot from "La Dolce Vita", the iconic scene at the Trevi fountain in Rome. Everything was very well timed and rehearsed to give maximum emotion to the audience. There was of course an encore (a double one, to be precise) and an amazing final row of applause for the human being transcended from Heaven: Andrea Bocelli. He performed "Time to say goodbye" and it was if the world was the night sky, filled with stars sparkling through the darkness. The soprano with whom Andrea was singing pulled him aside during a pause in the song and told him something, after which he smiled wide and his face radiated of pure joy. I like to think that she told him what he could not see, that the crowds inside the Tauron Arena, by a simple act of lighting their phones, were providing beacons of light into the night - reproducing the night sky - paying homage to his wonderful skill. I like to think that he felt how he had touched everyone of our hearts and from the darkness that we had within he shed some light into our dark skies.

EDIT 13.11.2017 - 3 PM - The wonderful soprano was Maria Aleida.
     
Yours very much truly,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Classical Music