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LOS ANGELES — Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli’s albums have sold over 70 million copies worldwide and he has spent the better part of this year traversing the globe from Monaco, where he performed at Prince Albert’s wedding, to Brazil, where he gave a live concert for 80,000 people on Nov. 7.
Following that, he touched down in Los Angeles last week for a whirlwind three days to promote his first live CD and DVD “Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park,” which was released on Tuesday. The Sept. 15 concert, which drew 70,000 people and featured the New York Philharmonic, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett and Bryn Terfel, among others, will air on PBS Dec. 2.
During his brief stay here, Bocelli performed on “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “The Talk.”
He called the Central Park concert “an experience you only do once in a lifetime. I think I would have to be younger to do it again.”
When asked what his most memorable performance was, he said, “It’s difficult to say. I have sung at Carnegie Hall, the Met, the pyramids of Egypt, for the Pope and many important politicians, and every time it’s been a big emotion.”
But American audiences are special for Bocelli, 53: “I hold a big affection for them because they are so warm. They come to concerts to enjoy themselves without any prejudgments.”
Bocelli has since returned to Europe to continue to prep for Charles Gounod’s opera “Romeo and Juliet,” which he will perform in Genoa, Italy, in February.
“I am always hungry for new music because I get bored easily,” he said.
He’ll return to California next month as part of a seven-concert U.S. tour, and to launch the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, which will help fight poverty and provide medical care to those in need.
“I spend a lot of time on planes, but I hate to cross oceans because if we go down, we become food for sharks,” he said with a laugh.
One thing that Bocelli doesn’t lose sleep over is his wardrobe. He has worn Corneliani on and off stage since 2009. “My father had his clothes made by Corneliani before I did,” he said. “I think it is a wonderful brand because it’s so personal.” Of course, all of Bocelli’s tuxedos and tails are bespoke. “Custom-made clothes nowadays are such a rarity,” he said. “I’m very thankful for the relationship because I don’t have to think about what to wear. And people tell me I’m very elegant.”