Andrea Bocelli: Living Proof That There Is Magic In The World
There is no doubt that Andrea Bocelli possesses the unique ability to transport women out from the “mundane” and into the “glorious” through a single note. I’ve experienced it myself as have numerous other moms I know who swear by his passion-filled vocals to transform the daily tasks of shuttling kids, cooking dinner, doing laundry or transitioning from work-work to homework into intoxicating moments of sheer splendor...without the wine. A glass of Chianti could not make the experience any more enriching.
Andrea Bocelli’s voice is pure magic, not unlike the man, himself, who has spent his life proving that miracles do exist and arrive under the most unexpected of circumstances more times than anticipated. Thankfully, Andrea Bocelli’s own mother knew this at a very young age or the world would have never realized the grandeur of her son’s magnificent gifts. I say ‘gifts’ as oppose to ‘gift’ for a reason.
Andrea Bocelli’s song is comprised of many notes and without his mother’s wisdom and unwavering commitment to bringing Andrea Bocelli into the world against all odds and medical recommendations, we would have lost a hero and a role model whose heart goes well beyond the seventy-five million records he has sold or the plethora of accolades, titles and awards he has won. In combination with what most of us already know about Andrea Bocelli’s extensive accomplishments are his many altruistic contributions to mankind, including staving off poverty for the downtrodden across the globe (notwithstanding within his own beloved country of Italy), assisting in the rebuilding of crippled lands such as in the case of Haiti, and supporting the development of new medical breakthroughs to eliminate suffering and strengthen humanity.
Suffice-it-to-say, Andrea Bocelli’s soul pours out love onto the earth in a myriad of ways, both large and small. Is it any wonder why the same is returned to him so readily? I think not. I learned this truth, even more so, when I asked Andrea to participate in this interview. His gracious and enthusiastic response to share his purpose and social causes alongside his life and work could not be ignored.
The warmth and grace Andrea Bocelli projects is real. It fills all that he does and ‘is’ as an artist and a gentleman. We are fortunate to have his type of magic in our lives and I am personally grateful to him for allowing me to provide my readers with a deeper look into who this man is beyond what has already been broached countless times before.
In Andrea Bocelli’s own words:
1. What is your favorite song that you do or do not sing?
There are so many beautiful songs in different languages; it is very difficult to produce a ranking or, even worse, select just one title. However, I can say that among my favorite ones there is “My Way,” a perfect song under every point of view, whose melody remains engraved inside the soul. There is also “La vie en rose,” “Voglio vivere così,"and "September Morn” amongst countless others.
2. What is the most important life lesson your mother taught you?
Having courage is among the many lessons that I received from my mother. The ability to never giving up - the same she had when pregnant with me and was advised to have an abortion because her child would be born with serious diseases. She ignored such advice and carried on with the pregnancy. Without her courage and her faith, I would not be here to tell about it.
3. Who is the person you most admire? Why?
There are many people I deeply admire, from Pope Francesco to the many priests (and lay people) who often work behind the scenes, having lived their lives to help and care for the others. If I have to pinpoint a name, I'd say Father Rick Frechette. Thanks to Father Rick's tireless and constant work on the island of Haiti, he is really making a difference for thousands of people. Father Rick is a doctor who says mass, a priest who treats the ill, and a visionary giant. He started by giving a shelter to a dozen orphans a quarter of century ago. Today, in partnership with the foundations that support his projects, he helps tens of thousands of them.
4. What is your personal mantra? (In this case the word "mantra" means the belief that you keep in your head and heart that shapes your everyday).
“Don’t harm anyone; don’t have any fear.”
5. What do you want to be remembered most for?
Our journey in this world comprises a small part for each of us; whatever we do, in the end, we always play a part which is going to fade in the course of time. Equally, if anybody in fifty or a hundred years time were interested in me, I would like to be remembered as a good man, who loved his work and tried to do it with much intellectual honesty and seriousness.
6. Describe your life as you see it.
A fairy-tale, a story with a happy ending that describes a country boy, who - though burdened with difficulties and hopes - makes a dream come true. That dream, specifically, entails the possibility of giving his voice to the world and to all those who, in a voice and in music, look for vivifying emotion and relief from the harshness of everyday life.
7. You have three children. What are the most important lessons you continue to teach them?
I have two sons, who are now teenagers, while the youngest, little Virginia, is only three years old. I have always tried to testify (therefore to teach them, through the example, and not with words) the strength of faith, the importance of the family and the need to follow such values as honesty, altruism and respect.
8. Describe your wife.
She is the woman of my life; she is my companion, friend, lover and partner in joy and in sorrow - an essential point of reference that gives warmth, joy, and unity within the family.
9. What is your secret to keeping the pace that you do?
I understand that the intensity of my work - marked by my back-to-back concert engagements and constant travel - can make the pace seem near impossible to sustain. Yet inside this frantic rhythm, I think I have been able to make a small oasis of relaxation - to have found a balance which enables me not to be overcome by my engagements’ rhythm. First of all, I try to avoid being informed in detail about the medium and long distance engagements (unless they need particular training). I focus on one upcoming event at a time and strive to give importance to every day and to every meeting. I am lucky enough to face every tour together with my partner in life and work, Veronica, and with a team which has been the same for many years now and that contributes to making every step of my long journeys more familiar.
10. What do you do to relax?
I am not looking for far exotic locations. I love the country where I was born, and it is in my house by the sea, where I live with my wife, Veronica, and my family, that I love to stay - when I need to recover peace and strength. When I can, I like riding along the woods, the countryside and the beaches of my region. I also love boating and swimming. I am a football fan and I am an avid reader.
11. Are you formally affiliated with a social cause or charitable organization? If so, please tell us who. If not, please let us know a social cause or charitable organization that you keep close to your heart.
I think that solidarity is the only intelligent response to inequality. This belief has led me to create the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, a foundation centered on the belief that "every drop has its weight in every day action, and where even the smallest contribution must be enhanced." The foundation is made up of many members, who (from every corner of the world) are united against poverty in developing countries - ready to accept new challenges in social field and in research.
Operating since 2011, ABF is the tangible demonstration of a concept that is dear to me: that on the part of “people of goodwill,” the most powerful demonstration is consistency. ABF is pursuing several projects both in the field of scientific technology and research as well as socio-economic development in bothh Italy and Haiti. We work with partners like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Fondation Saint Luc in Haiti, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Papal Charities. Among the confrontation initiatives organized by ABF sit noteworthy profiles of excellence such as Nobel Peace Prize recipient “Muhammad Yunus” who remains a member of the Advisory Board in cooperation with partnerships from leading universities embarking on advanced research leading to greater peace.
Like I said, everyone, Andrea Bocelli is a testament to the existence of magic...even today. His unyielding selflessness, undying love for humanity, and unquestionable insight into what defines a life "well-lived," out-scales the most moving of ballads...except maybe, my own personal favorite of his, Vivere. Andrea lives up to every word that he sings in this song in cooperation with the amazing Laura Pausini.
Many thanks to Andrea Bocelli's management and the Andrea Bocelli Foundation