“I strongly believe that love does justice. And it is for this simple reason that we are all responsible for building a better world. Since love energizes faith, the opposite must also be true. The amazing lives we have been gifted offer us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give the less fortunate a better future and opportunities.”
~ Andrea Bocelli
While exploring the subject of European summer music festivals, I attended Andrea Bocelli’s performance at Teatro Del Silenzio in his homeland of Lajatico, Pisa Province, Tuscany, Italy. Typically, an Andrea Bocelli concert is not considered a music festival, yet this concert was just that and more! This concert was an entertainment event that featured a number of musical performers celebrating love and the power of music. A couple of Andrea’s diehard fans expressed disappointment due to the festival-like production that included many players and voices in the artistic production. Some wanted simply his voice and nothing more…
I do agree that nothing compares to the bliss in listening to the Maestro’s voice, feeling it reverberate through heart, mind and body. It is pure art. Yet it is also important to note that Andrea Bocelli is much more than a voice. He is a man with convictions and ideals, a humanitarian, a brilliant musician and a talented artist all rolled into one creative musical and production force.
The essential power of artistic expression is to provoke feelings, and feelings of exuberant celebration were evident at this concert. I AM a fan, am all for any celebration, and I appreciated the “festival” feeling. Here in this rural area of Tuscany, world- renowned performers, a symphonic orchestra, and visitors from all the 5 continents flocked to Lajatico and contributed to an event which is unique in its essence. Andrea Bocelli the man, the music, and the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) present an opportunity to express appreciation, to ‘shoutout’ as is said of appreciation these days.
Celebrate the richness of humanity through music.
This concert focused musical performances that celebrate the emergence of love in various forms – from love in romance to love of land, country, upbringing, and childhood memories. All themes were exemplified through the power of music. This magnificent production included several guests offering wide operatic performances including Maestro Bocelli’s 19 year old son. Performances included contributions of regional folklore in music and dance, popular romanzas, music from the five continents, a multitude of colourful dancers, and additionally an other-worldly, multi-dimensional light production.
As the concert exemplified the breadth of beauty inherent in the medley of humanity, it also spoke to the Maestro’s sense of responsibility in being human, as is noted above in his quote.
In the celebratory sense of a festival, just as one note does not make a song, it was clear that greater contribution emerges from the wholeness of humanity! Glory to the pure power of music and its characteristic, intrinsic gift to the world! On and around the stage, romantic ballet, sensual and representative modern dance and festive celebration interacted with the audience – dancers represented worldwide celebration of diversity by waving flags of nearly every nation! In totality, the artistic performances voiced honour in characteristically powerful, one hundred percent Italian, heart-felt style, to regional diversity and the power within it! It is through this committed, heartfelt connection that the ABF reaches the world at large.
” Io la vedo questa terra, la sento premere sotto i miei piedi. E’ la mia terra. E’ una terra che ama il silenzio, como lo amo io. E se rompo questo silenzio con la mia voce lo faccio per rendere la musica penetra la terra, percorre e vola lontanissimo.
E un messagio d’amore. ”
” I see this land, I feel it under my feet. It is my land. It is a land that loves silence as I love it. And if I break this silence with my voice, it is because I want to pay tribute to these places and to my people. Music goes through the land, it runs across it and it flies very very far away.
It is a message of love .”
~ Andrea Bocelli
This is indeed unlike any other venue, providing the most magical atmosphere for an international concert in which to appreciate the unique gift of the voice of Andrea .
The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the «Voices of Haiti »
Expressly, the ABF focuses on the exceptionally distressed, small Caribbean island-nation, the Republic of Haiti. Along with the public works and nutrition projects that aid the population’s recovery, the ABF realises great progress via the power of music.
Additionally, this concert presented Voices of Haiti, the children’s choir from the slum of Port-au-Prince. Sixty children, many of whom had been orphaned in earthquakes, have studied and practised music to join this voice of beauty – this choir. These children present to the world some of the newly discovered richness of Haiti.
The ABF continues to introduce music to the 30 schools supported by the St. Luc Fondation. This joint effort supports students to approach art and culture. The intent is to present an opportunity for the students to experience and enrich personal and social skills and to grow in harmony whilst having opportunities to perform.
Because all students come from poor economic and social backgrounds, it is through music they are able to learn to practise discipline, appreciate cooperation, and find the desire to move toward potentially better opportunities than those choices defined by many of the miseries congregated in poverty.
Music is a means for social and intellectual development, not only personal, but for entire communities. As music goes straight to the heart, it is through music and the beauty music expresses that willingness to focus is engendered, an international interest on the Haitian condition. Through these children, we become open to celebrating the strength of Haiti’s colors and of its people.
Imagine the eye-opening world outlook of these children who have grown up in a context of extreme poverty. They now quench their thirst for beauty and fuel their eagerness to learn through a highly professional educational path. The young singers can understand commitment and teamwork in light of pleasure, and concomitantly they experience discipline, passion, love for music and of the joy of sharing.
Apart from the concert performance at Teatro Del Silenzio, Voices of Haiti performed in Florence and in Rome, where the choir had the extraordinary opportunity to meet Papa Francesco as it performed in the course of the Morning Audience.
“What [the children] convey through their singing is pure joy!” – ABF
They are, and this is, a beautiful gift for all of us to share; perhaps to contribute, yet surely an art to feel and to celebrate!