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Issue:- 21 November 2014

Later on stage came a guitar duo Carisma, who performed the cheerful:- "Les Toreadores" from "Carmen". Another special guest performance was the local Chamber Choir of Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, who accompanied Bocelli on Franck's:- "Panis Angelicus" and Schubert's:- "Mille Cherubini in coro". The audience did not skimp on the ovations and supported the locals.

To my great disappointment, during the whole 1st part of the concert I didn't get any goose bumps and could not feel the full scale of the live performance, as the sound was very flat. The acoustics at Echo Arena aren't ideally suited to an orchestra and I had a feeling that all sound stays on stage and does not fully reach our seats in sector F. However, even this didn't spoil my impression from listening:- "Aranjuez con tu amor", which has certainly become one of the highlights from the show. The song was performed by Bocelli together with a young American artist, Lindsey Stirling, who is famous for her choreographed violin performances. The piece was so strong and emotional, that I was spellbound from start to finish.

Fortunately to me and unfortunately to the event organisers, ¼ of Arena seats were empty (according to the staff member, it happened because of the high ticket prices). In the pursuit of better sound, during the intermission, I decided to take a chance and change my seat from sector F to a seat that was in lower tier. And here you go; slightly different location, different angle of the speakers and goose bumps guaranteed! The second part of the concert has begun for me with a totally different music perception.

The 2nd part of the show, in contrast to the 1st half, was a bit lighter and more mainstream. Along with the lively:- "Finiculi Finicula" and "La danza", Maestro performed some legendary Elvis Presley hits, which were welcomed by British audience with rough applause and whistles. Further applause followed as the redhead pearl, Lindsey Stirling, came back on stage, but this time to perform her own song:- "Take flight". Barefooted in a cute brown dress this weightless girl is jumping and pirouetting around; as if she is waltzing with her violin. She is playing the instrument so masterly that you want to watch her again and again. The audience is fascinated and some people even praise her with standing ovations. Stirling sighs with relief and leaves the stage. Her inclusion in the show was a triumph!

Another treasure of the show appeares just in the end of the concert. I'm talking here about Britain's Got Talent graduate and Classical Chart Number 1 Lucy Kay, who joined Maestro on:- "Can't help falling in love" and famous "Conto della terra". I must admit that I never heard Lucy Kay before, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her singing. Although her part in the lower register did not seem very convincing to me, her upper notes were beyond all praise. Her voice tone sounded so good in combination with Bacelli's that all their duets turned to be very viscous and tasty for the ear. Over the final song "Conto della terra" everyone was sitting mesmerised and transfixed. It was very powerful and moving performance! After this FINAL performance, Bocelli was brought back on stage by admired crowd and sang "Love in Portofino." All the flowing 4 songs were also not in the programme, and every time Bocelli finished another song and tried to disappear from a stage, the standing audience enticed him back. We had a chance to hear:- "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas", "Vivo Per Lei" and iconic:- "Time To Say Goodbye". Eventually, Bocelli says:- "Thank you" to the orchestra, quire and everyone else who was there that day, but it is clear that this "everyone else" simply doesn't want to:- "say goodbye" to the biggest opera vocal star.

The whole arena is on its feet. 2 women standing near me cannot hide their tears. Bocelli returns for his final time and sings:- "Nessun Dorma". Conductor makes his last swinging gesture, jumps, and the music stops. Bocelli's small daughter runs on stage to congratulate daddy with his success. He takes his little princess on hands and disappears from the stage accompanied by thunderous applause. This was the night that certainly left a divine aftertaste!

The concert has proven that the talent is boundless. It has no gender, nationality or physical condition. Bocelli has managed to translate his beautiful world into such a touching music. And that entire world is living inside the person who cannot see the world in our perception. He is blind since 12. How amazing and paradoxical the life sometimes can be. I think such people open our eyes to life. Bravo Andrea! It was, without doubt, a night that will live long in everyone's memory!

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