Andrea Bocelli Brings Early Valentine’s with ‘Three Centuries of Love’ Concert

By Logan Martell

On February 10, 2019, celebrated tenor Andrea Bocelli returned to the Metropolitan Opera for the first performance of his concert, titled “Three Centuries of Love.” This encompassing program featured selections from composers such as Massenet, Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Delibes, Gounod, and Puccini; joining Bocelli were sopranos Nadine Sierra and Aida Garifullina, along with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. This sold-out concert had not only standard favorites but more unconventional selections, performed by some of opera’s most beloved singers.

Beginning the evening’s performance was the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, under the baton of guest conductor Eugene Kohn, playing the Act two ballet from Massenet’s “Le Cid.” Following this, Andrea Bocelli took to the stage to sing Act three’s aria “Ah, tout est bien fini… O souverain.”

Among the selections from Giuseppe Verdi was the aria “La mia letizia infondere,” from “I Lombardi,” and the duet “E il sol dell’anima… Addio, addio,” from Rigoletto. Joining Bocelli for the duet was Aida Garifullina, who entered in a pink gown and she dove into the character right away, working well with Bocelli through this energetic duet.

The Bocelli took on “Por mon ame,” from Donizetti’s “La Fille du Régiment.” Next among the duets was “Modi… Sulla tomba che rinserra,” from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Joining Bocelli for this number of bel canto was Nadine Sierra, whose resplendent soprano made her a captivating duet partner.

In addition to Bocelli, both Leonard and Garifullina had a solo number of their own. From Rossini’s “La Cenerentola,” Leonard sang “Naqui all’affanno,” and from Delibes’ “Les Filles de Cadix,” Garifullina sang the bolero; she demonstrated splendid high notes and a sharp sense of rhythm in her movements.

The last two numbers of the evening’s program were the classic “Recondita armonia,” from Puccini’s “Tosca,” and “O soave fanciulla,” from “La Bohème.” For the latter duet, Bocelli was joined by Leonard, whose mezzo-soprano melted its way into her vocal entrance after riding the wave of emotion set forth by Bocelli’s delivery of the lyrics. While the closing they gave the duet would have easily made for a fitting conclusion to the concert, there were two encores left to be heard. From Andrea Bocelli’s new album “Si,” came his duet with cover of “Ave Maria” with Aida Garifullina. This cover features a more solemn, almost penitent mood that emphasizes the overcoming of sorrow through the grace of Mary.

Finally, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni appeared to join Bocelli in singing “Au fond du temple saint,” from Bizet’s “Le Pecheurs de Perles.” In the sort of romantic story arc created by this evening’s selections, this last number came as something of a closing reflection, where Pisaroni made a trusty friend for Bocelli to share experiences and memories of love with. While “Three Centuries of Love” lives up to its title in celebrating the love songs of the past, Bocelli and the guest artists end with their hearts and passions fixed towards the future.


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