Bocelli and Lang Lang offer tribute to Beijing

Bocelli and Lang Lang offer tribute to Beijing


norman lebrecht

February 07, 2022

Message received:

Beijing, February 7, 2022 – World-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, internationally-acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang and famous Chinese soprano Lei Jia have united for a brand new song ‘Forever You and Me’ – a musical gift to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. It is released today in collaboration with Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Beijing Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

Andrea Bocelli says: “It is a great joy for me to collaborate with two extraordinary Chinese artists – the soprano Lei Jia (who was a happy surprise for me) and the pianist Lang Lang: a dear friend, with whom making music is always a moment of great artistic enhancement. As an artist, I believe it is my responsibility to be able to speak to everyone’s heart. It was an honor to be able to give my modest contribution to the most grand sports event on earth, which takes place in a country that I love and where one third of the world’s population lives; a country extraordinarily rich in history of thousands of years. Culture and art, at every latitude, is an instrument of mutual understanding and precious support for the development and peace of the world, bringing people together and immediately eliminating any possible mistrust.”



  • A.L. says:

    Typical music makes the world go ‘round blathering boilerplate. There is nary a single penny in the world the popera star won’t go after. But Xi Jinping has his new anthem cut out: “Forever You and Me”.

    Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan …..

    • Bitchard Raus says:

      Yes, Xinjiang and Tibet are provinces that are and have been part of China forever. Hong Kong is a city that wasn’t, for a relatively short time, only because the British took it by force. It once again is though and has been since 1997. These are facts. Thanks for mentioning them.

      But yes, although I love China and am sick of the western anti-China propaganda, this kind of music claptrap is vile to me. Andrea and Lang Lang and whoever the soprano might be…to paraphrase Brahms: I’d rather have a tootache!

  • James Weiss says:

    Bocelli would feel right at home in Berlin, circa 1936. Shame on him.

  • Rob Keeley says:

    Pious crap from Bocelli, who should know better, given the CCP’s appalling human rights record. These artists should be ashamed of themselves.

    • PR says:

      But he surely didn’t write it. He would never end a statement with “mistrust.”

    • Roberto Baggio says:

      A westerner talking about China’s human rights abuses is like a donkey judging an Opera contest. Go back under your colonialist rock, please. White men have literally killed (and continue to do so) more than any asian country ever has. Miss me with your whitewashed history and brainwashed racist nonsense about how awful someone else is and how enlightened and caring you are about all those poor people in a province whose name you can’t even pronounce properly and whose history you aren’t familiar with at all. Talk about all of that when you have imprisoned literally any and all of your living Presidents, because all of them are war criminals responsible for the deaths of millions, in the 21st century alone!

      • uighyrs says:

        Ok sunshine. Here’s some statistics on the worst atrocities in world history, based the number of deaths and on mid-20th Century equivalent population, from Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”. (Of course you will only claim it’s western white propaganda). If you want to play the race card, learn your history first.

        No. 1: Second World War (20th Century) 55 million deaths (A lot of dead Southeast Asians and Chinese and Japanese in the Asia Pacific theater and NOT Counting the CCP and Nationalist KMT civil war, which is no. 20 on the list). Adjusted rank in history: No. 9

        No. 2: Mao Zedong CCP caused famines and other atrocities (20th Century China) 40 million deaths. Adjusted rank in history: No. 11

        No. 3 Mongol Conquests (13the Century China and Asia) 40 million deaths (278 million equivalent to mid 20th cent.). Adjusted rank in history: No. 2

        No. 4: An Lushan Revolt (8th Century China) 36 million deaths (429 million equivalent to mid 20th cent.) Adjusted rank in history: No. 1 CHAMPION!

        No. 5: The Fall of the Ming Dynasty (17th Century China) 25 million deaths (112 million mid-20th cent equivalent) Adjusted rank in history: No. 4

        No. 6 Taiping Rebellion (19th Century China) 20 million Chinese deaths (40 million mid-20th cent equivalent) Adjusted rank in history: No. 10.

        No. 7: Annihilation of the American Indians (15-19th Century Americas) 20 million deaths (92 million mid-20th cent. equivalent)

        No. 8-13: (20-15 million deaths range) Stalin, Mid East Slave Trade, Atlantic Slave Trade, Taerlane, British India famines, First World War.

        No. 14-21 (Under 10 million deaths) Russian Civil War, Fall of Rome, Congo Free State, 30 Years War, 16-17th Russia, Napoleonic Wars, Chinese Civil War, French War of Religion.

      • Rob Keeley says:

        Whataboutery at its finest!

  • PaulD says:

    “Culture and art, at every latitude, is an instrument of mutual understanding and precious support for the development and peace of the world, bringing people together and immediately eliminating any possible mistrust.” I guess he forgot that the Nazis, Italian Fascists and the Soviets were big on culture and art.

  • Piano Lover says:

    How much did he get to say that?

  • uighyrs says:

    Singing praises to a genocidal regime.

    • Meow Tze says:

      Nonsense. There is no Uighur genocide in China. Zero proof for it whatsoever. There are literally 300 million dollars alloted this year alone to actual official anti-China propaganda sponsored by the US government. If you find yourself believing the lies about a Xinjiang genocide, I guess that’s money well spent for them. It still doesn’t change the fact that there is no Uighur genocide. You can go visit and see for yourself. I have. 20 thousand mosques in Xinjiang. Did you know that? Schools, tv/radio stations, printed press, entertainment…ALL in their own language. Their own, ethnic Uighr people are representatives in the government. I literally bought ‘1984’ in a bookstore in Urumqi, in the Uighur language! There I saw books in uighur, mandarin, cantonese, english and russian. I also bought Kissinger’s ‘On China’ in mandarin. Would you ever have guessed that’s possible? The chinese currency has the Uighur and Tibetan languages on it. What a weird way to destroy their cultures and languages by forcing everyone to see it literally all of the time. Everyone is free to learn and speak their language in China. They all do have to learn Mandarin though, as it is the official language. That’s all.

      • uighyrs says:

        There are no concentration camps in Xinjiang? If it takes 300 million dollars to point out that the CCP is a fascist genocidal regime, then I’m for it. At least it’s not done cheaply by paying 5 cents to losers like you to defend the unspeakable. How do you prove it? China will have to let the U.N. into Xinjiang for inspection.

        • Meow Tze says:

          Absurd. ‘Yes, spend 300 million in disinformation rather than admit it’s a lie!’

          Absolutely there are no concentration camps in China. There were until 2019 vocational centers were some spend time learning skills so they could get a job. In these centers some extremists also spent time. There were hundreds of terrorist attacks in China. China instead of the usual western approach of bombing and killing everyone in the region, saw that the biggest reason people start following extremists is poverty. They did their best to inprove the economic situation in Xinjiang by educating people and getting them ready for the job market. Thousands of Uighurs had returned in Xinjiang after fighting as members of ISIS in Syria and they had even told Reuters that they plan to ‘bring change’ in Xinjiang. A reason why they were let to go free out of Guantanamo. They returned to Xinjiang and killed innocent civilians, including Uighurs and Imams that didn’t want to follow their barbaric interpretations of the Quran. China stepped in and there’s no more of that. How are you guys dealing with terrorists? China tries to reform them by educating them and teaching them skills with which they can get a job and not remain poor and blindly follow extremists into killing innocents for some imagined islamic utopian state where all will be well once everyone lives a life like a decent muslim did 15 centuries ago.

          You have no idea what’s happening here.
          China has officially invited everyone to come visit and see. Some have. Corporations that do business have seen and decided to remain. Muslim countries like Pakistan have officially visited and stated these are just western lies. No muslim country is even sending protest letters to China about it. Why are there no refugees? Why has the USA not taken in even ONE refugee? Funny how it went from genocide to cultural genocide to forced labor to ‘possibilities of forced labor we should watch to make sure won’t happen’! Absolutely desperate death throes of the former empires. USA, UK and their puppets are the only ones saying these things and with zero proof all they end up doing is quiet down and hope it is forgotten like the ‘Iraq weapons of mass destruction’ lies which resulted in a million dead Iraqis and no responsibility taken.

          Btw, as only China could do, they have restructured and what was supposed to further harm the poor Uighurs with sanctions, has resulted in Chinese people buying exclusively Xinjiang cotton and tomatoes, propping up the autonomous region’s economy and ruining another attempt at stirring up trouble.
          As China has done, so I do too invite you to go visit Xinjiang where I say it again, there live 13 million muslims and they have 22 thousand mosques. They freely speak their language and mandarin, wear their ethnic clothes, eat their foods and dance and drink their wine (for which they were killed by the extremists for not being good Muslims, even though the Uighur muslims are famous for their wine for more than a thousand years).

          • uighyrs says:

            “Vocational training centers”…haha you are a five-cent clown.

          • Meow Tze says:

            Yes, vocational centers.
            Nope, not a wumao.
            I’m just someone who knows a lot more about this then you do. Mainly because I’ve lived in China for decades (almost 3 years in Urumqi and only left after the terrorists attacked and killed civilians multiple times) but more so because I am not someone who blindly believes in anything bad said about anyone, without any proof. That’s what you do.

            There is literally no proof of the genocide in Xinjiang. So much so that nobody even calls it that anymore. They went from genocide to cultural genocide to possible forced labor and no proof for any of it so they’ve quieted down and moved on to other regions of the world, trying to stir up trouble there. Once again, the Uighurs are the biggest and fastest growing minority in China. There are 13+ million of them. They learn and speak their own language at school, along with mandarin. They can hear and read their own language in all media and anywhere in China. There are 22,000 mosques. They are free to travel anywhere any other Chinese can. Their language is on the RMB along with the Tibetan language. That’s a very weird way of erasing their culture.

            You choose to believe lies with no proof because you already hate the fact that China has risen peacefully and is doing better than whatever failing, debt-ridden western country you’re from.

            Hey, Congress just proposed $500 million for negative news coverage of China for next year! $300 million just didn’t do that much. I’m glad your tax money is being spent on important things and not silly healthcare, infrastructure, student debt, jobs, homelessness and so on. Hope you enjoy reading more meaningless negative coverage with absolutely no results in the years to come.

  • caranome says:

    All in service of the fatherland, for good pay no doubt.

  • Michael McGrath says:

    What home-town spirit! What soaring lyricism! All that ‘famous’ and ‘world-renowned’ talent immediately recognizable to any Mainlander. Bocelli! Guess Domingo was n/a. Still: Go team.

    “Forever you and me:“ Does that refer to Beijing’s envisioned future ties to HK and Taiwan?

    Freddy Mercury and Montserrat it ain’t.

    • Pyotr says:

      What a silly thing to say. HK and Taiwan are already part of China. Why would China have to envision a future which already exists?

  • PGHK says:

    Shame on them !

  • William Gross says:

    Everyone beat me to it.

  • V.Lind says:

    What do PR agents think people will swallow? The stiff pretentiousness of that language — similar to what I read from golfers who have won certain events — is so far removed from human speech, or the construction of a human response, that I assume they are paid by the vowel.

    Of course they could hardly use the ACTUAL words of people like golfers or artists: “How much? How long will it take? What perqs? Does my wife/husband/partner/kid get a free ticket too?”

  • I really like Andrea Bocelli, I have watched the pianist on You Tube.

  • Dan says:

    I haven’t seen so heavily Photoshopped images since I browsed through Playboy 20 years ago.

  • Bonetti Micaela says:

    Of no artistic interest, I’m afraid…