Andrea Bocelli on why he does not believe in chasing happiness

Italian tenor is bringing his Believe World tour to Dubai


Ambica Sachin

Published: Tue 2 Nov 2021, 5:35 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Dec 2022, 1:32 PM

His songs are best enjoyed with your eyes closed, allowing the soul-encompassing tones of the master vocalist to wash all over you till you become one with the emotion.

Andrea Bocelli has widely been described as having the voice of an angel and the soul of a humanist, whose lyrical magic has touched millions around the world. He is truly an artist who sings from the heart, with a melancholic and radiant tone that strikes one’s soul.

Over the years, Bocelli has showcased his musical versatility through his classical repertoire as well as pop collaborations with artists as diverse as Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Ellie Goulding among others.

The Italian tenor, who was part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s opening ceremony, will perform at the Events Arena, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, as part of his Believe World Tour and as the signature concert of the fifth annual PaRus international music festival-2021 on November 8.

The concert will feature hits from the legendary opera singer’s uplifting latest album Believe, a poignant and personal collection of songs, celebrating the power of music to soothe the soul, as well as his beloved timeless ballads and operatic masterpieces. Excerpts from an interview (translated from Italian), with the maestro.

How does it feel to bring your Believe Tour to PaRus Music Fest in Dubai? Are you nervous, excited to be back on the road after a long break?

All this makes me happy. I missed the stage and the audience a lot, the possibility of perceiving its breath and energy. Of course, I’m also a bit worried; I’m like an athlete who starts playing important competitions again, after a long period of forced rest. Also, being an emotional person by nature, I always take into account a bit of tension and nervousness before going on stage, However, I repeat, it is with great emotion and satisfaction that I experience this gradual return to normality. The world needs to return to culture and art, to regain trust and start over with values. And this is the strong message that I wish to convey through my songs at PaRus Music Fest in Dubai.

We live in such troubled times and your music in particular conveys feelings of hope, love and harmony. As such what are you looking forward to the most during your concert in the UAE?

What I look forward to the most is to be able to meet my audience, to live that moment just as I have done for so many years, and to be able to personally thank all those who appreciate my music. When I manage to convey a message of positivity and hope, through my concerts, when the viewer returns home a little more serene, with a smile on their faces and the perception of having shared a moment of beauty that they will remember, I hope, with pleasure, then I’m a satisfied person. After every storm the serene always returns. Despite the complexity of the last two years, my way remains the same, because I have set up my existence by paying homage, through singing, to the power of love and therefore to life, which is the most beautiful and the greatest of gifts.

When we go through your Instagram, there is hardly a picture where there is not a smile on your face. What makes you happy?

Happiness is not a goal for me. I mean that it is a feeling that does not last long, it is an elusive dimension just like time, which at least in common perception exists in its progress and not in its being. I prefer to aim for something more reasonable, and that is serenity. In fact, I am almost always serene. Serenity is the result of the desire to attend goodness and beauty, to cultivate faith, to have a clear conscience, knowing that you have done your duty, in work as well as in interpersonal relationships.

As a musical icon whose powerful vocals have touched millions, what is the legacy you hope to leave behind?

Assuming that in fifty or a hundred years someone is interested in me, I would like to be remembered as an artist who tried to communicate positive messages and who helped bring a breath of fresh air into the lyrical repertoire, a genre that was in danger of forgetting its popular vocation. I would like to be remembered as a decent person who loved the job and did it conscientiously. One who, having received the gift of a pleasant voice, has not wasted this talent, putting effort and sacrifice without hesitation, to give his contribution to the dissemination of beautiful music.

Your son Matteo’s first single Solo is out and you had put up an extremely touching tribute to him; “Now it’s my turn to sit in the front row and cheer for your journey, for your song, as you yourself have done for so many years, proud to applaud your father... I’ll have to resist the temptation to say to whoever I’m next to, ‘You know, that’s my son up there!’” It’s such a proud moment for you as a dad, but as a performing artist what advice would you have for him with regards to the music he puts out?

I am very excited that Matteo is independently identifying his own style, according to his personality and sensitivity. His first single seems very promising to me, moreover it is a song that fits perfectly with his vocals. The advice I gave him — and which I think Matteo has already widely understood — are ethical rather than artistic, and hardly needed words, as conveyed, over the years, through example... I conveyed the need not to give in to temptation to compromise dictated by fashions or novelties, not to build one’s own style; to maintain a relationship of intellectual honesty with the audience...

We live in a time where one hit wonders and viral tunes are the craze. And then there are timeless ballads like yours. How are you able to create magic each time you put out a song? What is your magical formula?

I have always wooed beauty, both in pop and in the classical repertoire. With the audience I have maintained throughout my career an honest and direct relationship. And I was repaid with great generosity. I am a particularly lucky artist, both because my greatest passion has become my profession, and because my musical tastes usually correspond to those of the general public, in many parts of the world.

Over the years, since you started performing, do you see an evolution in the way audiences react to your music?

I did not see any notable difference in the reactions of the public. However, according to the cultures and customs of the countries, twenty years ago as today, it is possible to find different ways of expressing satisfaction. But beyond the external codes of expression of emotions, I believe that the extraordinary strength of music is precisely that of affecting our conscience, making us better people... Good music is a real medicine, a universal language that overcomes all cultural and generational barriers… It opens hearts and minds, connecting people and reminding us that we are all, of this earth, brothers.

Catch Andrea Bocelli in concert on November 8 at the Events Arena, Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Go to | for more information

The fifth edition of PaRus Music Fest features some of the best award-winning performers to create a truly festival ambience.

Besides Andrea Bocelli, Philipp Kirkorov, Leonid Agutin, Diana Arbenina, Basta, BI-2 and others top-class stars of both pop and rock music will take the stage at Events Arena, Jumeirah Beach Hotel from November 3–8

The event is designed to embrace open-air essence, where music lovers can enjoy stellar performances from the top-ranked artists amidst the picturesque backdrop of the Burj Al Arab.

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