Andrea Bocelli performing at The Resorts World Arena Birmingham on Saturday 19th October 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It has been twenty three years since Con Te Partiro was re-recorded as Time To Say Goodbye with British soprano Sarah Brightman, and the global smash made an international superstar of the Tuscan tenor, Andrea Bocelli, who last night hushed the packed Resorts World Arena into silence with a spine tingling performance.

As clips from the film based upon his life story, The Music Of Silence, filled the huge video wall, the stage filled up with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. With musical director, Marcello Rota, beginning the proceedings with Bizet’s Carmen Overture, an evening of effortless perfection began.

Ushered onto the stage by Rota, Bocelli stood in just one place with his arms by his side and let his powerful voice fill the Arena in a haunting and quite beautiful way. He had never sounded better and revelled in holding the big high notes on the likes of La Donna E Mobile and Di Quella Pira, making the orchestra wait until he was good and ready to bring it home.

With Bocelli on stage for two songs and then being tenderly ushered off by Rota, there were plenty of opportunities for his guests to shine before he came back on. There was the hugely talented soprano Maria Aleido, whose vocal range saw her reach the most incredible heights on the likes of The Doll Aria, and the highly impressive flautist, Andrea Griminelli who performed at break neck speeds. There was also a pair of ballet dancers whose spectacular lifts and spins enchanted the audience during the various songs.

But it was Bocelli who was the undoubted star of the show with his remarkable power and control as he performed an array of operatic favourites such as Amarcord, En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor, and for Funiculi Funicula, the whole crowd were singing and swaying along.

The second half brought an extra surprise in the form of Beverley Knight, who delivered a particularly delightful Shoulda Woulda Coulda, and a stunning rendition with Bocelli of Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love, with Knights low soulful tones blending so well with Bocelli’s astonishingly strong moments. It was a real goose bump moment.

A wonderful evening of classical and operatic delights was brought to a close with superb renditions of Time To Say Goodbye and Nessun Dorma, with the final note of the evening getting the crowd up on their feet for a heartfelt, well deserved standing ovation.