July 21, 2024

Andrea Bocelli: ‘I owe my parents an awful lot’

The global operatic phenomenon talks his first time on stage, why he’d show his youngest self his 2011 concert in Central Park with Tony Bennett and Celine Dion and his existential questions around faith

I was a very vivacious teenager, even a bit naughty, always willing to crack a joke and have a laugh. As they say where I come from, I was… “always up to something”. When I lost my sight [aged 12 following a football accident, having already been born with glaucoma] I cried, but only for a short while. I then set aside any form of self-pity and decided I needed to be positive and optimistic about life, finding ways to explore it. This did not affect in any way my musical training. People may perceive it as my main issue, but it never was and never is.

Andrea Bocelli health: 'Doctors tried to cure me' - singer's cause of  blindness explained | Express.co.uk

I would not say I had any teenage ‘angst’. But I was restless for sure and I was always curious about everything, as well as stubborn. Maybe at times, as part of family life, there may have been the odd spark, some arguing with my parents or my brother, but overall we were a united and peaceful family. Love always prevailed, mutual fondness softened any kind of friction that might have emerged.

1994: At home with his parents in Italy in the year he made his operatic debut

I think I was an ambitious teenager and a dreamer. I have always wanted to earn my living with my music. It was an ongoing ambition from the time I was in secondary school and also later during my university years. I succeeded, albeit many years later, after I turned 35, after lots of hurdles and many “nos” had severely tested my pipe dreams. 

I owe my parents an awful lot. My father Sandro and my mother Edi moulded my character, offering me an education that was invaluable during my whole life. Among the many teachings I received, I would mention the determination not to give up. This is what my parents showed during my mother’s pregnancy when the doctors advised her to have an abortion because the baby would be born with severe illnesses. She ignored their advice and carried on with my father’s support. Without their courage and faith I would not be here today to tell the story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *