Andrea Bocelli admitted ‘trouble during royal wedding performance’: ‘I did my best!’
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The Italian operatic legend has sold more than 90 million records worldwide and broke two Guinness World Records – one for placing in the Top 3 of the Classical Albums chart and the other for the most-watched live-stream classical event. His talent was first-recognised by Luciano Pavarotti, who declared there was “no finer voice” than Bocelli’s. The singer has performed in some impressive venues around the world but in a candid confession admitted he was “nervous” before he sang at the royal wedding.
Bocelli sang Ava Maria and Panis Angelicus, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as a “favour” to the royal’s mother Sarah Ferguson.
The tenor, who has been blind since the age of 12, described Princess Eugenie’s mother as a “very good friend… for many years”.
He revealed that Fergie invited him to the service in St George’s Chapel and asked him to perform.
They met “a long time ago in a TV studio” when Prince Andrew’s ex-wife knocked on his dressing room door and handed him a “biography of her life”.
He claimed to have watched Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice growing up and “very occasionally” was a part of their lives.
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Bocelli’s closeness to Fergie led to his decision not to charge the couple but the singer admitted it wasn’t an easy day for him.
In 2018, he told The Evening Standard: “I was a little bit in trouble with my voice. I was very tired.
“I tried to warm my voice, I did my best. But in any case, I had some cough and phlegm. But, yes, I was nervous.”
Bocelli revealed there were “no tricks” or remedies to help him in the event that he struggled with his voice apart from maintaining a good diet.
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He said: “There is a way to live – I need to eat light. Of course, [I] don’t smoke and don’t drink. Things an athlete does.
“The voice isn’t like a normal instrument that you can fix like a piano or violin.”
Bocelli said “unluckily the voice is inside” before he added: “So you take what you get and you try with what you have.”
Despite his difficulties on Princess Eugenie’s wedding day, he felt that “everything went well” because of his “experience” as a singer.
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Inside the St George’s Chapel, Bocelli sat next to the model Kate Moss and later quipped that he “did not choose that” but enjoyed her company.
He continued: “But it was cool, and she was very nice. We didn’t chat during the ceremony, though, because everything was very formal.”
Three million people watched ITV’s coverage for the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank in 2018.
Princess Eugenie and Fergie are not the only royals to have a relationship with Bocelli.
The singer revealed that he also bonded with the Queen over horses and “she promised” that he could ride one of her steeds.
Bocelli recalled: “She said that one time when I’m in England and a little bit less busy, we can do it.”
Recently Bocelli performed alongside his eight-year-old daughter Virginia for the online show Believe in Christmas.
He later told Express.co.uk that he was “overwhelmed” by the response to their duet of Leonard Cohen’s hit Hallelujah.
The concert, which was performed at the Teatro Regio in Parma, was watched by “over 70,000 fans” who were from “more the 100 countries”.
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Bocelli told Express.co.uk: “This was further confirmation that the people’s values and thirst for beauty and spirituality is stronger than ever before and for their need to reflect and reconnect with their souls.”
When asked what the duet meant to him, Bocelli said it “was a true Christmas present” that his daughter “gifted to” him.
He continued: “It was very emotional but there was no apprehension: I focused on the beauty and intimacy and I tried to convey the serenity, encouragement and reassurance to Virginia.
“We sat on stage with only a guitar, the silence, and her voice intertwining with mine. It was beautiful and simple.
“It was a very special moment, one to savour and remember always.”
Read our exclusive interview with Andrea Bocelli in full here.
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