Posted March 11, 2016
By SAMANTHA COHEN
There’s no better way to celebrate a day of love than by going to a concert by world- renowned singer Andrea Bocelli.
Bocelli’s annual Valentine’s Day concert did not disappoint with extraordinary and exquisite entertainment and atmosphere.
Bocelli returned to the stage at the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino for his sixth consecutive year performing in South Florida on Feb. 12-14.
World-renowned Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli is known to pack his stage with a variety of outstanding performers to create an immaculate performance of classical music and that was no exception during the performance.
Bocelli’s concert has become a much appreciated and highly anticipated annual Valentine’s Day event in South Florida. The arena seats 5,500 and was fully packed on Sunday night.
The performance was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but began 20 minutes late. The Bella Musica Orchestra accompanied Bocelli, who were directed by Eugene Kohn. The Orchestra began the night’s performance with an outstanding overture. Then Bocelli, 53, was lead out to a thunderous applause from the crowd.
The only missed opportunity was having Bocelli engage more with the audience. He did not introduce himself or any of the solo performers throughout the night. He could have communicated with the audience in between his sets as well as the beginning and end of the show but he just went straight into the performances. This lack of communication with the audience continued throughout the entire show.
However, the concert was simply outstanding. Bocelli’s powerful voice and ability to hold notes extremely long was truly impressive. The only time Bocelli talked to the audience was to introduce a new song in which he said, “I found a beautiful song on the Internet and decided that I needed to have it in the Valentine’s Day concert show.”
There were three huge screens, two on the left and right side of the stage and one in the center behind the orchestra. Throughout the show, the Hard Rock Live cameraman helped those who may not have known every song title by discretely showing a shot of an orchestra members sheet music as the opening bar of each number began.
The screens also allowed for a closer look at Bocelli and his performing guests for those who did not have a front row seat. The full orchestra housed about 70 musicians, as well as a choir of about 50 singers.
Throughout the night, Bocelli would leave the stage introducing a new solo performer. The guest performers included Soprano Eglise Gitierreg, Violinist Caroline Campbell, Pop Singer Lola Ponce and Singer Deborah Cox.
Among many highlights of the elegant evening were the cinematic nods to legends such as “The Godfather” “Sound of Music” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Bocelli’s powerful, long, big notes wowed the audience and to show their appreciation shouted loud screams and thundering applause after each song. His voice and talent is truly mesmerizing and captivating.
Deborah Cox sang a beautiful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” while Caroline Campbell was the guest standout of the night with her incredible violin performances.
During a couple of the performances Bocelli welcomed two tango dance partners onto the stage to accompany his performance at the side of the stage. They danced to the music being sung which added emotion and movement to the song. There was a strong positive reaction from the audience as they danced.
There were two parts of the concert with a 20-minute intermission. There was a clear difference between both portions of the performance. The first half was heavy with operatic arias that were all in Italian. Although they were highly enjoyable, the second half was much more sublime. The second portion after intermission, definitely gained momentum and song after song connected more and more with the audience.
To begin the second half was a medley of songs from “The Sound of Music” including “The Sound of Music, “ “My Favorite Things,” Sixteen Going on Seventeen” conducted by Kohn and played by the orchestra and choir.
The second half also included “Maria” and “American” from “West Side Story” (by violinist Campbell) “The Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera” “Brucia La Terra” from “The Godfather” and “Cheek to Cheek.” Each performance was filled with emotion with Bocelli’s transcendent voice. You could see couples wrapped around each other as they listened to the romantic music. The room filled with bright interchanging red, orange, pink and green lighting.
The encores included, “Nelle Tue Mani” (“Now We Are Free”) from the “Gladiator” “Con Te Partito” (“Time to Say Goodbye”) and “Nessum Dorma.”
Out of every song performed that night, “Nessum Dorma” was the most emotional song performed and was the highlight of the night by far. It signifies the true essence of Italian Opera and Bocelli performed it beautifully. At the end, heart- shaped confetti shot out into the crowd.
Bocelli treated fans with a combination of bellowed arias, crossover hits, love songs and new music from his latest album “Cinema.”
Whether you were an Italian opera expert or someone who was casually interested you likely had an amazing memorable experience.
- Andrea Bocelli live in concert
- Feb. 12-14, 2016
- Seminole Hard Rock and Casino
- 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, Fla. 33314
- No cell phones turned on, no photography or video recording
- Ticket prices $100-$500
- Rating: 5 out of 5 star rating