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Andrea Bocelli: A Celebration Hardcover – December 10, 1999

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (December 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312253095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312253097
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The phenomenal stardom of Andrea Bocelli is striking from several angles. Whether you're considering its implications for the record industry, for the role of crossover artists, or even for such larger--and perennial--issues as the gulf between "highbrow" and "lowbrow" culture, the sudden rise of this young Italian tenor seems to have an almost paradigmatic quality. Despite consistently dubious critical reception of the "classical" side of Bocelli's career--including a very insightful critique by Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times following the tenor's American operatic debut in November 1999--his fan base only continues to expand. And they are very loyal fans, indeed, who seem above all to respond to the naturalness of Bocelli's voice and approach to singing, whether of pop material (in Sogno) or of the classical favorites that are dearest to Bocelli himself (Sacred Arias or Aria: The Opera Album).

Antonia Felix's book will certainly be of great appeal to those fans, with its attractively produced collage of text and photographs. While there aren't exactly any new revelations, Felix has culled together a number of sources to give us an intimate picture of Bocelli in his most important contexts. After a brief narrative of his childhood and the accident that accelerated his growing blindness, we learn of Bocelli's struggle between practical common sense (in the form of the law career he successfully began) and his dream of making a life centered on music. How the latter came to be--through Bocelli's beginnings as a casual lounge singer, his chance association with Italian pop artist Zucchero, and other similar encounters--has an almost fairy-tale aura in Felix's retelling. We also learn of the central importance of Bocelli's family life, his Catholic faith, and his philosophy of determined optimism.

Felix provides some background on Italian operatic tradition to help place Bocelli in cultural context. There are thumbnail sketches of such figures as Verdi and Puccini and discussions of their importance for Bocelli; readers unfamiliar with operatic history but attracted to this aspect of Bocelli's career will find them helpful. This isn't the kind of biography that gives all relevant perspectives: in her discussion of one pivotal moment of Bocelli's career--his performance in La Bohème in 1998--Felix blithely passes over the negative press accounts and the substance of their criticisms. The tone throughout is rather that of a glowing admiration for her subject. That said, Felix writes in lucid, unfussy journalistic prose, and though a more thorough consideration of the Bocelli phenomenon remains to be written, her portrayal will be of great interest to fans who know the singer only from his presence on disc. The book is beautifully produced and richly illustrated with black-and-white as well as color photos. --Thomas May


"'Dear Zucchero, sing your song "Miserere" with Andrea Bocelli since there is nobody better than him.'" - Luciano Pavarotti introducing Andrea Bocelli at the Pavarotti International, 1995.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
It is very well written.
Alfredo Medina Romero
This is a beautiful book, well written and lavishly filled with wonderful pictures of Andrea and His family, surroundings and special events.
Richard D. Cappetto
The reader will come away with an added respect for the man with the angelic voice.
Steve Amoia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Lisa L. Dodd on January 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"I fell in love with him when I heard him sing." That's what Andrea Bocelli's wife, Enrica, later said of the night they met. It appears that millions of people all over the world are saying the same thing.
Andrea Bocelli: A Celebration, by Antonia Felix, tells in captivating words and stunning photographs, of Bocelli's life-from his youth in idyllic Tuscany, through his roundabout route to phenomenal international success and popularity in both opera and pop music, to his hopes and ambitions for the future.
Andrea is the product of a loving and supportive family and community; to all appearances, he is carrying this thread into the next generation, as we see him now a devoted family man. For most, these two-successful career and happy family-would be evidence enough of a life well lived. But this man does much more. He trains and rides horses, skis, cycles, plays four musical instruments, speaks and sings in several languages, donates his time to charitable causes, and is academically trained as a lawyer.
The editorial review says, "(t)he tone throughout is...that of a glowing admiration for (the) subject" and that Ms. Felix "passes blithely over negative press accounts and the substance of their criticisms." Fair enough. Yet, why would one write a 215-page book about a living individual if one were not already an unapologetic admirer of her subject? For that matter, why else would anyone read such a book? This reader pleads guilty.
Edi Bocelli, Andrea's mother, tells with admirable stoicism how she supported him through his loss of sight-gradual at first, then sudden and final. She wanted him to be "a man, not a handicapped person.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a new Bocelli fan, this book provides a great overview of the man and his music. The photos are wonderful - especially those of Bocelli's hometown. Antonia Felix has done a great job interviewing a wide array of Bocelli experts - from his parents to his conductors - and she captures his magic vividly.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I truly enjoyed reading this fascinating biography of the man who has turned so many people on to classical music. The author, a professional singer herself, has approached this book with knowledge of the business, as well as respect for a person who has crossed almost insurmountable obstacles to achieve his life ambition. The personal interviews with family members, friends and colleagues, and the reviews and articles taken from other printed sources give a chronological account of the Italian tenor's amazing life. Fans and critics alike will enjoy reading this fun and informative book of the man that has so many people talking, and listening. It's a story that comes not only from the voice, but from the heart. I highly recommend it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Amoia on July 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"My blindness has never been a tragedy to me; I don't know why it should be a tragedy to others." This quote by Maestro Bocelli, out of many that are included in this interesting and well-written biography, cogently defines the man behind the beautiful voice.
The author, Ms. Felix, takes the reader on an interesting journey. Her writing style is very engaging and educational, especially for those new to classical music. From his birth with a rare form of congenital glaucoma, all the way to White House to sing for President Clinton, Andrea Bocelli's story has the aura of a fairy tale. But the author firmly grounds the reader in reality. Maestro Bocelli is now a famous man; however, we see his life before and after, and perhaps come away thinking that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
From his childhood in the hills of Tuscany, through his years in Pisa for law school, we see the struggle of a young man who never allowed his blindess to close his vision of the world. The author's recounting of his law school years, along with his early forays into piano bars, was very intriguing. The story how he met his wife, Enrica, will captivate the reader with its candor, along with his feelings after their first meeting. "When she touched my hand, I knew I had met the love of my life."
Many would say that Maestro Bocelli, a former public defender, was lucky to achieve his fame. One of his countless demo tapes fell into the hands of the manager of Italian pop vocal star, Zucchero, who was looking for a tenor to accompany him on a certain song called, "Miserere." His inital choice was Maestro Luciano Pavorotti, who after hearing the demo, could not believe it came from an unknown piano bar singer.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo Medina Romero on March 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a very nice book. It is very well written. It taught me many interesting things I did not know about the world of opera and about Andrea's career. I enjoyed it very much. This book is one more thing about Bocelli that I count among my belongings. I have already bought all the albums and the video. This was the only thing I was missing, I think. Well, I am still missing a concert! That's next. I hope I can see him at the Statue of Liberty in New York in July 2000. Viva Bocelli !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Antonia Felix is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen nonfiction books and a medical thriller, FATAL REMEDY. Her political biographies include SONIA SOTOMAYOR: THE TRUE AMERICAN DREAM (Berkley/Penguin USA) and WESLEY K. CLARK: A BIOGRAPHY (Newmarket Press). As the first biographer of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman, and other prominent political women, she has spoken and lectured frequently on women in power and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, SkyNews, NPR, PBS's "Washington Journal," CNN International, BBC, CBS Radio, Sirius X|M, and others, and is featured in the award-winning 2010 documentary "American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi."

Ms. Felix's public speaking appearances have included the Robert Dole Institute of Politics, Columbia-Montour Women's Conference, Ozark and Tallgrass Creative Writing workshops, and Iowa Book Festival. To commemorate International Women's Day 2014, she moderated a panel about women's roles in promoting democracy in the Middle East and Iran at the U.S. House of Representatives.

The author's other biographies profile musical figures Andrea Bocelli, Harry Connick, Jr., and musical savant Tony Deblois, the latter three reflecting her professional background in music as a classical singer who has performed in concert and recital in many cities including New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Paris, Moscow, and Prague. She studied music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mannes College of Music in New York City, and Institute for Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris.

An adjunct professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. Felix holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Wichita State University, an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a B.A. in Psychology from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lives on a ranch near St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband, Stanford Felix.

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