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                                 St. Paul
                                  Xcel Energy Center
                                        June 8, 2002

St. Paul, June 8 2002 - thanks to Carole

                    Andrea Bocelli Conquers St. Paul

Where do I begin. I'd just seen the Chicago concert the night before! With hardly any sleep, I wondered if I'd be alert enough to enjoy a concert I'd just seen the night before. Then the concert began, and all my doubts were laid to rest. He was every bit as fabulous as in Chicago. I knew he wasn't feeling his best (at the Chicago reception, he told us he had "the bronchitis"), but the power in that voice just leads me to wonder just how spectacular he'd have been if he was feeling perfectly well! He did omit 2 songs from the first half, but they didn't explain why. Maybe they thought the show ran too long in Chicago, or maybe he just wasn't up to doing the whole thing. But, he left in the best ones, so I couldn't have been happier.

How this man can keep getting better and better is beyond me! I guess it's not true that you can't improve on perfection. Since every time I hear him, I think he can't possibly get any better, and yet he does...each and every time. I think my favorite number in this program is "Turiddu's Farewell." The emotion Andrea evokes brought me to tears in both cities. In Chicago, Steven introduced "Because," but in St. Paul, Andrea introduced it himself. Speaking briefly about how he'd first heard this number sung by Mario Lanza, then Franco Corelli, he would now sing it in English, which he didn't think was very good, but that he'd do his best! And as usual, his best was incredible! When he sings that high note at the end, I realized I wasn't breathing, and had to jump start my heart. Then we all leapt to our feet when it was finished. The applause was thunderous, though I think the Chicago audience was a lot more enthusiastic. Again, "My Way" brought down the house, and this one was done without any introduction this time. Steven just started the orchestra playing the first few bars, and tossed this little comment over his shoulder, "You'll know this one for sure". And then, the song that I'll never again think of as Frank's had begun! When you listen to the words, they're just so perfect for Andrea...his trials, tribulations, and determination to achieve in spite of them! One of the many things I admire about him. And again he performed "E Manchi tu." Funny thing is, the first time I heard this song performed, I didn't care  much for it. Now, when he sings it, I feel like it's become an old friend of mine, and look forward to it's powerful build-up and ending. He could sing any number from Cieli di Toscana as an encore, and it would not disappoint, but this one is very special.

I know that Andrea has said he's pretty tired of singing "Con te Partir," but from this singing of it, you sure wouldn't know it. Though there are many more numbers I'd now prefer to hear, when you hear the crowd reaction, you can see why he just can't leave it out yet. Maybe someday, but not yet! There are still too many newbies at each concert, and this is his trademark song for them, and they'd walk away feeling cheated if he didn't treat them to it. And nobody should (or ever does) walk away from an Andrea Bocelli concert feeling cheated. In fact...does anyone walk away? Or do they all float away like me? I'd bet the latter!!

Carole MacKay

What a guy!! I feel so fortunate that I have been able to see Andrea in
concert four times now, and each time is better than the last!

Since my sister lives in the Minneapolis area (I live in California), I decided I couldn't resist this chance to see Andrea once again. So I flew 2000 miles for the weekend, and believe me I was not disappointed. This man continues to amaze me with his incredible voice. I heartily agree with those who prefer this man's way of reaching the hearts of his audience through his voice and not with dramatic gestures and posturing on the stage. He brings us his humble spirit, his ernest dedication to his art, and his desire to entertain us. What more could we possibly ask for?

I won't go into the particulars of the evening's program, as other have
already shared that. I was particularly impressed with the extension and duration of the high notes, as in "Because." I also enjoyed the interplay with Ana Maria during the segment from Butterfly. And Andrea made us, the audience, feel very special when he spoke a few words in an introduction to the song "Because." When I heard the opening strains to "Con Te Partir," my heart nearly stopped. I knew this was going to be the end, and I didn't want it to end.

When the lights came back on and we knew Andrea would not reappear, we made our way out of the arena. Once outside my sister, my niece, a friend, and I stood in the balmy air in front of the Xcel Center just beaming, breathing in the ambience of the experience we had just lived. Finally we couldn't put it off any longer and made our way to the car. It was a beautiful evening that I shall treasure forever.

Mary Kay - Los Angeles
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