The free concert offered by internationally acclaimed tenor Andrea Bocelli on Central Park’s Great Lawn on Thursday, September 15, 2011, will also be recorded in high definition by THIRTEEN’s GREAT PERFORMANCES. Accompanied by the New York Philharmonic, under the direction of music director Alan Gilbert, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, conducted by Joe Miller, with special guest artists to be announced, the gala event is a special gift to New York City. “This free concert in New York City’s ultimate performance space is another way we can make such historic events accessible to audiences who might otherwise find them out of reach.”
Andrea Bocelli has commented, “I cannot help but smile when thinking about the upcoming concert in Central Park. It was my father’s dream, and my father was right, because my artistic path would have been entirely different without the strong and sincere embrace of this extraordinary city where everything is possible, even when it seems impossible. My father will not be there, but I can count on his blessing and his kind and gentle smile to give me courage. My mother, sitting in the front row, will feel my father, too, and they will be together again just like when I was a little boy performing on the fireplace steps. Perhaps they had secretly dreamed that I might have the opportunity to perform in New York City, and maybe right here in Central Park.”
Zarin Mehta, president and executive director of the New York Philharmonic, notes, “The New York Philharmonic and Andrea Bocelli have teamed up on more than one occasion in the past to joyful musical effect. This September will be our grandest collaboration to date. I can’t think of a better way for summer in the city to culminate.”
New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe declared: “I join the Mayor and all New Yorkers in thanking Andrea Bocelli and all involved in making a beautiful autumn evening full of splendor and world-class music possible, in one of the most cherished outdoor places in New York City. From the Great Lawn in the heart of Manhattan to the GREAT PERFORMANCES series on WNET, where millions more will be able to share this gift, it will be a very special occasion. A million thank yous. Grazie mille!”
Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park airs December 2 at 9 p.m. (check local listings) as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. Bocelli will present a varied repertoire that includes his best-known and best-loved songs, which have become fan favorites. He is widely regarded as the most popular Italian tenor in the world, with more than 70 million albums sold.