1999-andrea-bocelliAndrea Bocelli turns 56 today. The opera has always been that genre that is cool not to like, it’s seen as music for the uber-rich, concert halls filled with people more concerned about who sees them, than who they’re seeing. While it’s not a genre I keep my eye out for, it was one that I have a great deal of admiration for. You can’t hide behind anything, the most important instrument is the singers voice. No matter how many half dressed dancers you have, or how heavy the pyrotechnics are, fans will speak to the performers voice when reviewing a show. The only opera singers I knew way back when, were the ones that seemed to fill the headlines, Pavarotti, Domingo, and, of course, the other guy (Jose Carreras), I didn’t really watch any of their performances, I just knew their names. It wasn’t until a teacher played a CD by Andrea Bocelli before every class that I started to inquire who it was that was singing.

Bocelli was born with very poor eyesight, and after a football accident at the age of 10, became blind. His disability hasn’t hindered his voice though, and he’s received amongst the highest honors in Italy, has sold millions of records, and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Here he is performing, perhaps the most famous operatic songs of all time, Ave Maria (Schubert)

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