Andrea Bocelli to sing at the Met

Andrea Bocelli to sing at the Met


norman lebrecht

September 28, 2018

The Italian crooner has booked the Metropolitan Opera House for two concerts of opera arias titled, ‘ ‘Three Centuries of Love on February 10 and 17, 2019, at the climax of a US tour.

He has done this once before, seven years ago.

And it’s a dead cert the Met will be packed to the rafters for his concerts – as it never is for its own productions.

Go, Bo.


  • Anon says:

    I’m not so sure it will be packed. Bocelli is very much yesterday’s news and seven years is a long time in American history. We shall see.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Now, this is Peter Gelb’s fault. For real.

    • MWnyc says:

      In what way? This is a rental.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        The question in my mind is whether rentals should meet any basic standards. I find Bocelli ridiculously inferior in many respects that go way beyond classical music: pitch, timbre, diction, lack of character. Maybe he passes the distinctive looks standard, but I am not into guys.

        • RW2013 says:

          No-one is interested in your sexuality!

          • Caravaggio says:

            Your response is an admission of heterephobia. Surely if you don’t care about the commenter’s sexual preference, then you don’t also care about others’ sexual preferences that deviate from the norm. Please correct my logic if in the wrong.

          • Caravaggio says:


          • Petros Linardos says:

            Sex appeal can make a difference in performing arts careers. So my comment was in context.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            Makes a difference especially with careers of unqualified artists.

        • Sue says:

          I’d have to agree with you. I remember being on a cruise of Norway on the Costa Pacifica in 2011 and every time the ship left a port we were subjected to Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye” and it nearly drove me insane. It can’t have helped his career, such aversion therapy for passengers, mainly German and Italian!

  • Rustier Spoon says:

    I’m not sure it will be packed at all..Bocelli singing anything is very second rate but opera arias in the Met. I don’t think so.

    • Bruce says:

      Surely you don’t think being second-rate is an obstacle to selling tickets..???

      Besides, Bocelli’s fan base is a quite different audience from opera fans. (Even opera fans who enjoy his singing bring, I think, a different set of standards to him — just like we do to Sinatra, Tony Bennett, et al.) In fact a lot of his fans actually can’t stand opera — see the post from a couple weeks ago

      • David Goulet says:

        Tempest in a teapot! He probably will have a good turnout. I don’t get why he appeals to a lot of people. Same for Sarah Brighman, Jackie Evancho and other popopera entertainers, but it is what it is. SIGH!!

  • StopLoweringTheBar! says:

    Not sure what is the more egregious breach of taste and standards; the hideously unqualified Bocelli being given permission to rent out the sacred environment of the Met for the fulfillment of his personal fantasies, or Domingo being hired by the Met to massacre baritone roles. Both totally depressing compromises.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    I understand James Levine will be the conductor.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    (My wink symbol did not come through, unfortunately)

    • Ms.Melody says:

      Speaking of JL and Domingo, has anyone noticed that yesterday they played 2 of their performances, Otello and Simon Boccanegra on the Met channel. This is in celebration of Domingo’s 50 years at the Met.
      The driving got much more pleasant. There is no getting away from their collaborative efforts.

  • Elaine Balbi says:

    Why is everyone so hateful? If you dont appreciate his music just don’t listen to it… let the guy make his living and I am sure all this hate won’t change what his fans think about him.

    • Anon says:

      I don’t think everyone here is being hateful. Anyone who wishes to hear a sixty year old tenot with impaired sight is within their rights to buy a ticket, but I don’t think Bocelli will sell out at The Met in the middle of a New York winter on two consecutive Sundays. The comments about Placido Domingo are very valid, he’s around eighty years old and singing a repertory that was never his, and managements indulge him in his artistic greediness. It is hard to take such a situation seriously, and much as I admired Domingo in his heyday I cannot listen to him struggling now.

      • Jackie says:

        No, it’s hateful. So vitriolic, nasty, narrow-minded and elitist. Like most comments on SD. I would stop reading them, but ya gotta know the zeitgeist of your industry…

    • Alan says:

      Right on, Elaine!
      Bocelli is, and always has been, a pop singer.
      I personally think his voice – using the standards of Italian pop music, not classical music – is very pleasant to listen to. A microphone voice for sure, but still pleasant.
      I don’t follow his history, so I’ve never been sure how he got involved in the classics.
      But I wish him the best, and bravo AB for having a successful career!

  • Nick says:

    I saw him a few years ago at the Honda Center in Orange County, CA (home of the Anaheim Ducks). A friend of mine gave me two tickets. The singing was so bad my wife and I didn’t make through the evening. Bocelli singing at the Met is just plain bad for business and Gelb shouldn’t have let it happen. Bocelli really needs to stick to the hockey rink circuit and Gelb needs a going away party.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      Couldn’t agree more.
      Bocelli never had an operatic voice. he should stick to crossover and pop.
      To let him sing at the Met is bringing the already declining vocal standards down to a new low.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      If Bocelli wants to pay to hire the Met, then why would Gelb refuse to take his money. Everyone knows if isn’t something staged by the Met. Similarly, if people want to attend his show, then why would the rest of us care. While Bocelli isn’t to my taste, his singing gives a lot of people a great deal of pleasure (and how many performers is that true for). Why not leave them alone and let then enjoy it.

  • Alex Davies says:

    I’m not sure what the big deal is. I think people just like the opportunity to advertise that they are superior enough to know that Bocelli isn’t a great opera star. Venues get hired out for all kinds of events. The question is, are there 7,600 people within commuting distance of the Met who are prepared to pay to hear Bocelli sing? Given that more than 8.5 million people live in NYC (which is additionally visited by nearly 63 million tourists per year) and over 20 million people live in the New York metropolitan area, that does not sound difficult. Indeed, Bocelli is about to perform for two night at London’s O2, which has a capacity of 20,000. If he’s confident of selling 40,000 tickets in London I’m sure he can sell 7,600 in New York, and for a much more attractive venue and the added bonus of hearing the Met orchestra under Eugene Kohn. I hope he and his fans enjoy the experience, and no doubt this kind of booking brings in useful income for the Met. It sounds like a situation in which everyone wins, apart from the handful of snobs who fear that the temple of art that is the Met Opera will be somehow desecrated by allowing in the likes of Bocelli and his fans.

    • Rustier Spoon says:

      Having toured with Bocelli, it is NOT an enjoyable experience….I also know audience members who have been so excited to be going to hear him but have come away less than enamoured. As for the O2….he’ll be tweaked and miked into oblivion so who cares.

    • Thomasina says:

      It seems the same situation in Montréal. There is his show on October at Bell Centre (usually for ice hockey), capacity of 21,000+ and almost sold out. I imagine his fans will be pleased to see him at the MET.

  • Linda Marshall says:

    Each to their own, he has ALWAYS hit the spot for me! Reduced me to tears many a time and enriched my life always! Saw him live as a treat for my 60th and the whole evening was an amazing beautiful production!
    There are a lot of performers with huge followings that just do not do it for me, but Andrea certainly does!

  • Versiliagirl says:

    It is elitism that prevents new generations from discovering opera. I am absolutely shocked at some of the comments made on this forum. Bocelli has introduced opera to thousands of people who believed it to be something for rich snobs… & Reading much of what had been written here one can only agree with them. Shame on you!

    By the way, I recently saw Domingo sing Thais & he sang pretty well. Why not give the man a little respect, with his long career & at 78, he deserves it even if he is not in his heyday.

    • Bill says:

      Well, AB may have introduced some of his fans to opera, but we were reading on SD not too long ago about a few of his fans who were mightily put out that their package tour to Tuscany featuring AB featured AB singing in an opera!

      • versiliagirl says:

        Strange to complain when the evening was clearly billed as an opera…Andrea Chenier, not a concert. It seems the tour company doesn’t understand the difference thus leavng some guests disappointed. Opera isn’t for everyone but AB has helped many to enjoy it.

    • Matt says:

      Right on the money. Thank you!