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Culture Forum

  1. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    04 Nov '09 16:15
    or 40 million people?

    Who could be right?

    ------------

    ANDREA BOCELLI

    Born: Lajatico, Italy, 22 September 1958

    Genre: Classical

    The world has long had a fascination with the celebrity tenor. Dashing voices from Enrico Caruso to Mario Lanza to Luciano Pavarotti have captured the popular imagination. A worthy addition to that list is the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who, in the 1990s, established himself as an international singing sensation with a repertoire of classical and soft pop songs.

    Born in Tuscany, he grew up in a close-knit farming community, studying piano, flute, and saxophone and listening to opera. At the age of twelve, he lost his sight because of glaucoma and a soccer accident. He studied law at the University of Pisa and, for a year after graduation, practiced as a defense attorney before deciding to quit and pursue music full time. He approached the renowned tenor Franco Corelli for lessons and supported himself playing piano and singing in bars and nightclubs. It was in one of these clubs that he met his future wife, Enrica.

    In 1992 he auditioned for Italian pop star Zucchero, who was looking for a tenor to make an audition tape of his duet "Miserare" in an attempt to convince Pavarotti to record it. Convinced by the demo, Pavarotti sang on the recording, and it became a hit in Europe. For the next Zucchero tour, Bocelli was hired to sing the song, and he took over a solo spot in the show.

    Pavarotti invited Bocelli to sing with him at his annual charity gala, and this performance led to a series of appearances and TV broadcasts across Europe. In 1994 Bocelli won the top prize in the popular San Remo Song Festival; his performance of the song "Il Mare Calmo della Sera" made him a sensation. His debut album, Il Mare Calmo della Sera, was the first in a series of pop hits, and led to Bocelli, his follow-up album.

    His breakout European hits were "Con Te Partiro" and a duet arrangement of the same song with Sarah Brightman, "Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)." The solo version topped the French pop charts, and the duet sold 3 million copies in Germany, sitting atop the pop charts there for fourteen weeks.

    The album Romanza (1996) became a hit in Europe and the United States, selling 15 million copies. After Sogno was released in 1999, Bocelli had four albums on the U.S. pop charts at one time; he became the first artist since Garth Brooks in 1992 to accomplish the feat. His duets with Celine Dion at the Grammys and Academy Awards launched sold-out tours of the United States. In 2000 Bocelli sang at the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower, and the base of the Statue of Liberty. He also sang the official concert of the Euro 2000 soccer tournament in Rotterdam and helped carry the Olympic torch into Sydney Harbor.

    Although secure in his success in the pop world, Bocelli has craved legitimacy in the classical realm as well. In the late 1990s he released a series of classical recordings: Viaggio Italiano (1997), a collection of popular arias and Neapolitan songs; Aria (1998); and Sacred Arias (1999). Each was a best-seller, and for a while, these albums occupied the top three top spots on the classical charts.

    The classical music press has been less kind to Bocelli than his legions of fans. His voice, unamplified, is not very large and has trouble filling a concert hall without a microphone. His voice can produce a gorgeous tone, and his sincerity and emotive ability are impressive. But he is stylistically unsophisticated, his phrasing is clumsy, and his early attempts to sing opera—a Verdi album, a recording of La Bohème, and a performance in Detroit of Werther —have elicited mostly negative critical reviews.

    Critical reservations notwithstanding, Bocelli commands the unflagging loyalty of a mass of paying customers: He has sold more than 40 million CDs, is the top-selling classical artist of the 1990s, sells out his tours, and has inspired fans in a way that few pure classical artists have.

    ----------------------

    So, in all seriousness, who's right?? A few moderators of music, in which they think there are many characters and, of course, include their own opinions...... or those of the silent majority who continue to support what they know is of good quality??
  2. 04 Nov '09 16:30 / 2 edits
    I don't know if "right" is the word you are looking for. The people who buy his CDs (40,000,000 is an overestimate) aren't asserting anything other than they enjoy his music, something which can be neither right nor wrong.

    The classical critics may be right in their criticisms but I don't think they are asserting that his music/CDs can't be enjoyed by the general public as a result.
  3. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    04 Nov '09 16:34 / 2 edits
    Culture Forum, Mike---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
  4. 04 Nov '09 16:34
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Why? Because the case study is a singer?
  5. Standard member Phlabibit
    Mystic Meg
    04 Nov '09 16:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Alert System --------------------------V
  6. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    04 Nov '09 16:39
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I don't know if "right" is the word you are looking for. The people who buy his CDs (40,000,000 is an overestimate) aren't asserting anything other than they enjoy his music, something which can be neither right nor wrong.

    The classical critics may be right in their criticisms but I don't think they are asserting that his music can't be enjoyed by the general public as a result.
    Correct.

    It does seem that there is criticism there, from the classical world, doesn't it?

    Isn't that the criteria he put himself in?

    The 40 million didn't come from me. It came from Wiki, or similar, of the classical world.

    Does it make sense for a few to criticise what a vast majority take pleasure from?

    Just a basic question. How can a critic be right if the mass majority take pleasure from what he is criticising does?
  7. 04 Nov '09 16:45
    Slim Whitman sold more LPS than Elvis and the Beatles COMBINED.

    At least according to a Candlelight Music TV commercial, circa 1979.

    Was he thus greater than Elvis and the Beatles combined?
  8. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    04 Nov '09 16:46
    Originally posted by mikelom
    Just a basic question. How can a critic be right if the mass majority take pleasure from what he is criticising does?
    If criticisms are made from an objective perspective (not filling a concert hall with a microphone, for example) then why not? 1 billion flies can be wrong.

    It's only a problem when popularity clashes with perceived elitism and the criticisms cease to be objective.
  9. 04 Nov '09 16:48
    Originally posted by Palynka
    If criticisms are made from an objective perspective (not filling a concert hall with a microphone, for example) then why not? 1 billion flies can be wrong.

    It's only a problem when popularity clashes with perceived elitism and the criticisms cease to be objective.
    Agreed.
  10. 05 Nov '09 23:04
    Originally posted by Palynka
    If criticisms are made from an objective perspective (not filling a concert hall with a microphone, for example) then why not? 1 billion flies can be wrong.

    It's only a problem when popularity clashes with perceived elitism and the criticisms cease to be objective.
    Non sub rec'd
  11. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    05 Nov '09 23:10
    Originally posted by mikelom
    How can a critic be right if the mass majority take pleasure from what he is criticising does?
    The American Health Association warns about how unhealthy the Cheesy Puffs are.
    They're right. 40 million clients keep buying and eating them, though.

    They're not exclusive facts.
  12. 05 Nov '09 23:14
    Originally posted by Seitse
    The American Health Association warns about how unhealthy the Cheesy Puffs are.
    They're right. 40 million clients keep buying and eating them, though.

    They're not exclusive facts.
    They are addictive. Last time I bought a '12 bag', I ate tham all in one evening. I have not bought any now for over a year. I apologise for detracting away from the point that you were trying to make, if there was one.
  13. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    06 Nov '09 07:42
    Originally posted by jimslyp69
    They are addictive. Last time I bought a '12 bag', I ate tham all in one evening. I have not bought any now for over a year. I apologise for detracting away from the point that you were trying to make, if there was one.
    So, would you says this Bocelli guy could be the new image for the cheesy puffs?

    Hey, it would kick ass, wouldn't you say?

    Bocelli: When I stumble in the darkness searching for my piano, and my
    fingers stumble into a bag of those delicious cheesy puffs... the music is screwed.

    *voice off*

    Cheesy puffs... the health association can go where those opera critics already are:
    hell!
  14. 06 Nov '09 17:03
    Popularity and critical success do not always go together. Rgerettably despite Bocelli's leasant voice he culd never carry an opera because he is also not very powerful. I don't follow the crtics, I listen to arais side by side by various singers. Try the following: E lucevan le stelle (Tosca, Puccini); Lamento di Federico (L'Arlesianna, Cilea). Bocelli vs. Villazon. Light years of difference. Does not mean you cannot enjoy both. Rolando Villazon would be my choice for the opera stage, yet Bocelli has a sweetness all his own. His Neaploitan song album is first rate. When you listen to the three tenors you notice great differences. Certain voices suit certain roles. Pavarotti was too heavy for Carmen, for example, but Carreras and Domingo were great for the role. Carreras is a softer, less hall filling tenor. Domingo and Pavarotti do Donizetti very well, but Carreras does not. Bocelli might try what Alfredo Kraus did and limit himself to those roles designed or better suited for his type of voice, a more lyrcial style tenor. No Verdi, Bellini or Donizzeti for Bocelli. Another example is Wagner. Think of Bocelli trying to pull off a Heldentenor role! There is no way he could, but most tenors can't, even Villazon, better suited to Italian opera. Despite all this I own every Bocelli album there is because he is lovable and has a more than pleasant voice and his life story is compelling and inspirational.
  15. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    06 Nov '09 17:48
    Nice analysis, sashipazo dude. Thumbs up!