NEW YORK, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Internationally acclaimed tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform a free concert on Central Park's Great Lawn, Thursday, September 15th with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by its music director Alan Gilbert, as a special gift to New York City (tickets required for entry). This spectacular evening, sure to be a once in a lifetime musical event will be recorded in high definition by THIRTEEN for WNET for national PBS broadcast on GREAT PERFORMANCES in late fall 2011. ANDREA BOCELLI LIVE IN CENTRAL PARK will also be released on CD and DVD by Sugar/Decca this November.
Bocelli is widely regarded as the most popular Italian tenor in the world with more than 70 million albums sold. He will present a varied repertoire including his best known and loved songs that have become fan favorites. Andrea will also be joined by special guest artists to make it a truly memorable evening. Barilla is the main sponsor of the concert event.
All information for this special evening, including future ticket distribution, will be available at www.bocellicentralpark.com.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "The Great Lawn in Central Park is one of the most remarkable and beautiful outdoor venues in the world and it is a great pleasure to welcome Andrea Bocelli back to New York to perform there. This free concert will be a memorable cultural moment for the thousands of New Yorkers and visitors that will watch the event live in the park, and many, many more through the broadcast by WNET."
New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said, "I join the Mayor and all New Yorkers in thanking Andrea Bocelli and all involved in making a beautiful autumn evening full of splendor and world-class music possible, in one of the most cherished outdoor places in New York City. From the Great Lawn in the heart of Manhattan to the Great Performances series on WNET, where millions more will be able to share this gift, it will be a very special occasion. A million thank yous. Grazie mille!"
Andrea Bocelli comments, "I cannot help but smile when thinking about the upcoming concert in Central Park. It was my father's dream, and my father was right, because my artistic path would have been entirely different without the strong and sincere embrace of this extraordinary city where everything is possible, even when it seems impossible." Bocelli continues, "My father will not be there, but I can count on his blessing and his kind and gentle smile to give me courage. My mother, sitting in the front row, will feel my father too, and they will be together again just like when I was a little boy performing on the fireplace steps. Perhaps they had secretly dreamed that I might have the opportunity to perform in New York City, and maybe right here in Central Park."
Sugar Music, the label based in Milan that discovered Andrea Bocelli in 1994, was instrumental in orchestrating this concert event. Filippo Sugar, Sugar Music Chairman and CEO comments, "Sugar Music is delighted that Andrea Bocelli will have the opportunity to share his extraordinary talent with the people of New York City. This concert fulfills a dream we've had since we began our collaboration. Andrea and I are also incredibly appreciative for the support of New York City and Barilla, both of whom have been integral in bringing to life this not-to-be-missed concert in Central Park."
"The New York Philharmonic and Andrea Bocelli have teamed up on more than one occasion in the past to joyful musical effect," noted Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic. "This September, in our grandest collaboration to date, New York's own Music Director, Alan Gilbert, conducts the New York Philharmonic in this spectacular concert starring Andrea Bocelli, and a universe of the brightest lights of the world's opera stages. The magnificent setting, Central Park's Great Lawn, is equal to the beauty and splendor that will certainly define this one of a kind, free event – a gift to the people of New York. I can't think of a better way for summer in the city to culminate."
Since Great Performances introduced American television audiences to Bocelli with 1997's Romanza concert, the tenor has been featured in a distinguished series of Great Performances specials, including Sacred Arias, Amore, Vivere, My Christmas, and American Dream—his spectacular "Statue of Liberty" concert from New Jersey's Liberty State Park. "Bringing artists of this magnitude to audiences is core to our mission at THIRTEEN," said Neal Shapiro, WNET CEO and President. "This free concert in New York City's ultimate performance space is another way we can make such historic events accessible to audiences who might otherwise find them out of reach."
"Andrea Bocelli embodies the authentic Italian spirit," said Guido Barilla, Chairman, Barilla Group, one of the world's most esteemed Italian food companies. "His music inspires millions, and there is no better place to demonstrate his talent than in New York's Central Park. Barilla and Andrea Bocelli have had a relationship since 2002, when Bocelli's music began appearing in television advertisements throughout the United States. We look forward to sharing the combination of Barilla and Andrea Bocelli with New Yorkers as it is a true expression of the authentic Italian experience."
About Andrea Bocelli
Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli is widely regarded as the most popular Italian and classical singer in the world and has sold 70 million albums worldwide. His voice combines the power of the heroic tone with a youthful tenor's grace strengthened by an unusually polished timbre.
In 1994 Andrea Bocelli "exploded" onto the world stage with the hit song "Time to Say Goodbye," topping charts all across the world, including Germany where it became the biggest-selling single in history. The song alone has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
In 1999, his nomination for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards marked the first time a classical artist had been nominated in the category, since 1961. "The Prayer," his duet with Celine Dion for the animated film, "The Quest for Camelot," won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category.
With the release of his classical album, "Sacred Arias," Bocelli captured a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records, as he simultaneously held the top three positions on the U.S. classical albums charts. Five of his albums have since reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, and record-setting seven, have topped the classical albums charts in the United States.
In 2006, Bocelli was made a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and on March 2, 2010, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has been a guest at New York City's historic Carnegie Hall, and this past February, made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House. He is widely regarded as the most popular Italian and classical singer in the world.
A completely new hardcover translation of Bocelli's memoir, Andrea Bocelli: The Music of Silence, (ISBN 9781574671971) including new material covering the last 11 years of Bocelli's life, will be published by Amadeus Press in September.
About Sugar Music
Sugar Music is the number-one independent music publisher and record producer in Italy and one of the most important in Europe. Run by Filippo Sugar, currently President of Italy's Federation of Music Publishers FEM, it is a family business following the steps of founder Ladislao Sugar since 1932. Over the years the Sugar company has built up an impressive catalogue of modern classical works by distinguished composers such as Ennio Morricone, Luigi DallaPiccola, Luciano Berio, Goffredo Petrassi, Ivan Fedele among others, while continuing to invest in the creation of popular music with over ninety thousands copyrighted songs that often reach international fame like Time to say Goodbye, Gloria, More. Through the recent acquisition of the CAM catalogue, home to Grammy and Academy Awards winners Ennio Morricone, Riz Ortolani, Nino Rota, Luis Bacalov, Sugar is now a leading brand in movie soundtracks and film music internationally.
Aside from music publishing, Sugar's renowned and extremely effective talent scouting abilities, that were the founding pillars of Andrea Bocelli's world-wide success since 1993, have continued to flourish under deputy chairman Caterina Caselli Sugar.
Several times a winner of Italy's Sanremo Festival with its songs and artists, Sugar's always-on approach to popular music as a venture that must appeal to international taste has managed to consistently promote the Italian tradition of popular and operatic melodies together with some of the most elegant fruits of contemporary popular music as represented by the growing European standing of artists such as Elisa, Negramaro, Malika Ayane, Raphael Gualazzi. For more information, please visit: www.sugarmusic.com.
About New York City Parks & Recreation
Parks & Recreation is the steward of about 29,000 acres of land – 14 percent of New York City – including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. The department operates more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. It also cares for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. Parks & Recreation looks after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. The department is New York City's principal provider of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. New York City Parks & Recreation is home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.
For more information, please visit: www.nyc.gov/parks
About the Barilla Group
Barilla, originally established in 1877 as a bread and pasta shop in Parma, Italy, ranks as one of today's top Italian food groups. Barilla leads in the global pasta business, the continental Europe pasta sauce business, the bakery products business in Italy, and the crispbread business in Scandinavia.
Barilla owns 47 production and milling facilities (14 in Italy and 33 outside Italy) and exports to more than 150 countries. Every year, over 2,500,000 tons of food products under the brands of Barilla, Mulino, Bianco, Voiello, Pavesi, Alixir, Academia Barilla, Wasa, Harry's (France and Russia), Lieken Urkorn and Golden Toast (Germany), Misko (Greece), Filiz (Turkey), Yemina and Vesta (Mexico), are featured on dining tables all over the world.
Barilla has become one of the world's most esteemed food companies and is recognized worldwide as a symbol of Italian know-how by respecting its longstanding traditional principles and values, considering employees a fundamental asset and developing leading-edge production systems.
For more information, please visit www.barillaus.com.
About WNET New York Public Media
WNET New York Public Media is a pioneering provider of television and web content. The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Tavis Smiley, Need To Know, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps and to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET pursues a single, overarching goal — to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit www.wnet.org.
About Decca/Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world's leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's leading global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group's record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog – Universal Music, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG's catalog is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; and Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.
About The New York Philharmonic
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. On May 5, 2010, it performed its 15,000 concert. Music director, Alan Gilbert, began his tenure in September 2009, succeeding a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that go back to Gustav Mahler and Arturo Toscanini. Renowned around the globe, the Philharmonic has appeared in 430 cities in 63 countries including the historic visit to Pyongyang, DPRK in February 2008. The orchestra has made nearly 2,000 recordings since 1917, with more than 500 currently available. Credit Suisse is the exclusive sponsor of the New York Philharmonic.
SOURCE Decca Label Group