(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israeli Opera Festival did not do Andrea Bocelli a favor by bringing him to
Masada. There he was, compelled to battle against an orchestra that was rendered
boisterous by desert winds and an incompetent
Nevertheless, after having become used to these
unfavorable conditions, one could gratefully enjoy Bocelli's unique voice and
enormously impressive rendition, as a natural heir of all that is best in the
Italian vocal tradition.
In the program’s first part he presented a
selection from the popular and best-loved Italian opera repertoire, such as
Verdi’s “La donna e mobile” from Rigoletto, and Turrido’s aria from Mascagni’s
Cavalleria Rusticana. Well-known as they are, they sounded fresh and inspired as
though performed and heard for the first time.
In the second part
conductor Marcello Rota succeeded at last to restrain the Symphony Orchestra
Rishon Le-Zion – and the winds – and to adjust its volume to the sound of the
voice. Here, the classics were left behind, and Bocelli presented some of the
best-known Italian popular songs, such as di Capua’s “O sole mio” and Denza’s
“Funiculi funicula.” In these so-called “light” pieces, Bocelli sounded no less
intense and emotionally involved than in the classical ones.
generosity, Bocelli shared the stage with two local talents – Ahinoam Nini and
Mira Anwar Awad. Both captured the Italian singing style surprisingly well,
without a trace of heir own ethnic origin, and with enchanting personal
Paola Sanguinetti, in some arias and duets with Bocelli, displayed
a clear, bright soprano, somewhat more theatrical than emotional in expression.
Israeli Opera Festival, Masada, June 12