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My Secret Passion

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Audio CD, January 20, 1998
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Pourquoi me réveiller? from Werther (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Nessun dorma! from Turandot (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Una furtiva lagrima (From L'elisir d'amore) (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. M'apparì from Martha (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Che gelida manina from La bohème (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. O soave fanciulla from La bohème (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. E lucevan le stelle from Tosca (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Recondita armonia from Tosca (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. È la solita storia from L'arlesiana (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Celeste Aïda from Aïda (Vocal)Michael Bolton;The Philharmonia Orchestra;Steven Mercurio 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Michael Bolton, the multiple Grammy Award-winning Singer, Songwriter
and Social Activist, who has sold more than 53 million albums and
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several continents, all while writing and recording for his new album.
Bolton remains committed to humanitarian causes -- advocating for at-risk
women and children for over 20 ... Read more in Amazon's Michael Bolton Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 20, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000029XA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,579 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bolton,Michael ~ My Secret Passion

Of course Michael Bolton--the world's greatest mimic--should not be allowed within 200 yards of an opera house, what with his bluesy rasp instead of the round, pure sound associated with opera. But he's no fool, and he has studied the languages (Italian and French), the idiom, and the texts of all of these well-known, oft-recorded arias. He claims to love this music and I, for one, believe him. He hits all the notes--occasionally too hard and invariably with the wrong gloves--but he nails them all--including a very weird high C at the end of the Act One Boheme duet with Renee Fleming (of all people). What's more (and better) is his emotional involvement in each aria--he sings off the words in a way that makes Bocelli, the other crossover pop star du jour--look like an imposter with a pretty voice, which is what he is. To wrap up: This is a valiant try that can never, because of the equipment, be successful on operatic terms, but as an artistic endeavor--even one that ultimately fails--this is to be praised. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

I'd give ZERO stars if I could.
Michael Stephens
If you want to listen, with great pleasure, to a "pop singer" singing arias with feeling and a fine voice, order this one.
I highly recommend this cd to anyone who enjoys Opera or who wants a refreshing change from popular music.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Janis Cortese on December 31, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First, I feel I need to establish my own classical and operatic cred. I began studying classical piano when I was ten; I'm currently 43. I come from an opera-mad Italian family whose members could sing "La Traviata" and "Rigoletto" -- including the quartet -- from memory over the dinner table. I consider no home complete without a copy of the Victor book, which my dad knew like most preachers know the Bible. This music is my vernacular, and for most other operatic snobs who feel the need to denigrate modern voices like Bolton's, I assure you, I can bury you with knowledge of the fine details.

However, like I said, I'm also 43. I came of age during the glory days of the high tenor in rock and pop, the early 80s, and the best of them are outright magnificent by any reasonable standard. Are they what I would call operatic voices? Of course not. Neither is Streisand. There's more than one way to sing, you know. These voices aren't worse, simply different. They color the notes more; in modern singing, each note has more structure inside of it compared to classical voice, which prizes uniformity of color within the individual notes and within a singer's range. (I wonder how many snobs who feel that Bolton had no business singing these pieces would have reacted to Maria Callas's changes in color and florid interps if they hadn't been told by their own snobbery that they were supposed to like her.)

That said, I'm familiar with Bolton's voice only from having grown up in the 80s. The most I could say prior to this CD is that I liked his old interp of Redding's "Dock of the Bay" and found it more extravagant than Redding's own more resigned take. I like his voice, but am not terribly familiar with it and am not what you would call a fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul on March 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Good playing on the part of the Philharmonia. Bolton's instrument (voice) is simply not geared for opera.

He hits the notes (mostly), but there's a hell of a lot more to this music than just hitting the notes. Bolton is certainly passionate enough, and I believe the title of the album is genuinely the way he feels about this music, but this performance is just too unrefined, it isn't well-coached or wrought in any way. It's raspy, badly mic'd, and unclear: a blunt-force-trauma approach to operatic singing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bookkook on August 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I think many reviewers here are being mean spirited. Music is supposed to inspire emotion - happiness is allowed among them- and that ought to apply to performers as well as listeners. Are we all supposed to avoid performing or playing because we aren't the caliber of Maria Callas with voice or Eric Clapton with an instrument?

This isn't opera quality, I rather imagine that is why Mr. Bolton is not an opera singer. Other reviewers noted the arrangements and orchestra are masterful and they are - they present these arias brilliantly. This is very well done, a nice collection, pleasant to listen to and I think Mr. Bolton is commendable for pursuing his interests rather than Caruso level perfection. More of us ought to do the same.

If you appreciate arias for the stories and the music, rather than for the opportunity that they provide for you to feel superior to mere mortals, I think you will find this collection to be a pleasant way to spend an hour.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sally Burnell on November 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
When I first laid eyes on this album, my first reaction was, "You've GOT to be kidding me!! Michael Bolton? Opera? My God, what will they think of next, Celine Dion destroying the greatest soprano opera arias?" Well, I finally had enough gumption to pull this album off the shelf of the library and take a listen to it, and it frankly surprised me. While Bolton is no Bocelli, he certainly has at least some potential to be a half-way reasonable opera singer. He needs a lot of polish to smooth off the raspy vocal quality heard in his pop music, but still, there is definite potential here if he wants to develop his instrument. He'll never grace the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, to be sure, but I wouldn't mind hearing him try more of this venue once he's polished his voice a bit more, if that is what he intends to do.
As a dyed-in-the-wool opera fan, I cannot give this album a full five stars, as there are a number of flaws in Bolton's delivery of some of the beloved tenor arias, but I give the man high marks for trying and for at least having the courage to try a classical album. It takes a lot of guts to do the cross-over thing when you are an artist established in a particular venue, but one benefit of this is that maybe Bolton fans who had not previously been exposed to opera might now consider buying this album and taking a good serious listen to it and maybe learning to love the operatic repertoire. I hope he continues in this pursuit of the operatic venue and studies more voice technique so that we might hear it once it has been better refined. After all, this is just his first attempt at operatic repertoire. May it not be his last.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Sorry, but I can't go along with all these hard-core opera fans who are sniffing down their noses at this CD. I give Michael Bolton full credit for making the stretch to another recording genre, if only to share this music with a new audience. I don't know much about his pop music, but I found this CD to be powerful and lovely.
I particularly enjoyed "Nessun dorma," "Una furtiva lagrima," and "O soave fanciulla." So what if Renee Fleming sings rings around Michael? They still sound lovely together.
Obviously he can't match up to a Pavarotti or a Domingo, but that's not the point here. Personally, I love it when an artist has the courage to experiment a little and try things outside the genre he or she has been boxed into.
Now if only we could get a female pop star, say Celine Dion or Barbra Streisand, to record an album of arias. And if they do, more power to them, opera fans, because they'll be introducing thousands of people to the beauty of this wonderful music.
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