“I am a verry passionate man,” he says in pidgin English.“I do haf a verry beeg reeespect for sex.” All right, Andrea, I know. According to my tape recorder, just six minutes and 52 seconds have elapsed since I met the tenor Andrea Bocelli and he has just announced that he “haf a beeg reeespect for sex.” A big respect for sex?
Al Jarreau, who sang with Bocelli during The Night of Proms in November 1995, praised Bocelli when he said, "I have had the honour to sing with the most beautiful voice in the world." Bocelli grew up on farm in Lajatico, a rural village in Tuscany.“And so it is for thees reason that I do not like it when sex becomes an eenstrument for music.” An instrument for music?“Si.” He is too much of an Italian gentleman to call the likes of Rihanna and Gaga whores of Babylon –“I express judgments only on things that I know very well such as opera and classical music and in this case I can’t” – but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was thinking something along those lines. He tells me that religion has “first place in my life.“Of course, I am not happy about this as an Italian citizen.” Would he ever run for prime minister? “I prefer to work for my country in a free and independent way. alist has emerged as one of the most exciting voices in contemporary opera.“I have met him [Berlusconi] several times,” says Bocelli. He is very, very kind and, err, he has a great will.” Really?