Andrea Bocelli, the international superstar tenorreturns to Great Performances once again to delight fans with Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino, a new concert special in which he puts classical music aside for an evening of international favorites inspired by the breathtaking coastal setting of Portofino, Italy.
The Italian fishing village and upmarket resort is noted for its picturesque harbor and frequent celebrity visitors, as demonstrated by a kaleidoscopic photo montage featuring screen legends Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, and current personalities ranging from Denzel Washington to Ellen DeGeneres.
With 16-time Grammy-winner David Foster as both music director and keyboard accompanist, Bocelli is also joined by trumpeter Chris Botti. Under the stars, beside the shimmering harbor waters, and with a rapt audience including Paul Anka, Sir Michael Caine, and Italian actress Ornella Muti, Bocelli performs some of the world’s most famous love songs, including “Senza Fine,” “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás,” “Bésame Mucho,” “Champagne,” “Love Me Tender,” and in duet with the late, legendary Edith Piaf, “La Vie en Rose,” while his real-life love Veronica Berti looks on adoringly. Bocelli sings in six languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Neapolitan). The sensual sound is rounded out by Cuban, Brazilian, and Portuguese rhythms.
Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino airs on Great Performances in March on PBS. (Check local listings.) (In New York, THIRTEEN will premiere the special Sunday, March 3 at 9 p.m.)
Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino is, in essence, a sequel to his earlier Great Performancesspecial, Amore. As with that concert, which featured timeless masterworks, the latest includes several beloved classics such as “Love Me Tender,” “Il Nostro Incontro” (the theme from Cinema Paradiso), “Sara Settembre,” (better known to English-speaking audiences as Neil Diamond’s “September Morn,” and translated into Italian by Bocelli himself), and “La mia via” (“My Way”), with the composer sitting harborside.
Since Great Performances introduced American television audiences to Bocelli with 1997′sRomanza concert, Bocelli has been featured in a notable series of Great Performancesspecials,including Sacred Arias, Amore, Vivere, My Christmas and American Dream, his spectacular “Statue of Liberty” concert from New Jersey’s Liberty State Park. Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park aired in December 2011. He wasaccompanied by the New York Philharmonic, under the direction of music director Alan Gilbert, the spectacular event being Bocelli’s special gift to New York City.
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
The musical program at press time is set to include:
Il Nostro Incontro (theme from “Cinema Paradiso”) (with Chris Botti)
Anema e Core (with Caroline Campbell)
Quizás, Quizás, Quizás (with Caroline Campbell)
A Mano A Mano
Corcovado (with Brazilian singer Sandy)
La Vie En Rose (with excerpts performed by Edith Piaf)
Qualche stupido “ti amo” (Somethin’ Stupid) (with Veronica Berti)
Love Me Tender
Sarà Settembre (September Morn)
When I Fall in Love (with Helene Fischer & Chris Botti)
Roma Nun Fà La Stupida Stasera (“Rome, Don’t Act Silly Tonight”)
Era Già Tutto Provisto
Love in Portofino (with Caroline Campbell)
The Ensemble Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Giacomo Loprieno.
On January 29, Verve Music Group will release the studio album, “Passione,” featuring the Mediterranean love songs featured on the special.
Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino is directed by David Horn.
For Great Performances, Mitch Owgang and Andrea Cotromano are producers; Bill Kabel is associate producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn and Filippo Sugar are executive producers.
Major funding for Great Performances is provided by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Paul W. Zuccaire Foundation, The Starr Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and PBS.