November 10, 2006 
Rotterdam, Netherlands - Ahoy
I was in Rotterdam by 4 in the afternoon and was picked up from the station by
my foster daughter's niece Ingrid, we went to their place to eat, freshen up a little,
and make myself  'beautiful'  (big wink !).
Her husband took me to the Ahoy-building, I was there at about a quarter to seven,
the concert would start at eight, so enough time to find my seat, go to the toilet,
(very important!)  and look for the Bocelli merchandise.
At first I could not find it, but I could not imagine it not
being there, and luckily I found it and purchased a very beautiful photobook,
and.... a T-shirt!
It's beautiful, black, with the 'Amore'- pic on the front, and sparkling silver
letters that spell his name.Rotterdam 10. 11. 2006, thanks to Wilma!
So, I got to my seat, with my Bocelli T-shirt on of course,
(saw NO ONE else wearing one !!??), and settled down
with my book, my handbag, my binoculars and.......... waited.
I was on my own, sitting on the side of the 1st floor, with just 2 seats next to
me, but apparently these people did not show up, (!!!!!!!) so I had the whole
row to myself!  ;-)))
So, finally the concert started, with a piece played by the orchestra, Danza Slava 2.
Then Andrea came on stage, my oh my, he is SO handsome in his Armani tux !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When he started to sing, with a very loud, long note, it was like a sigh went through
the whole audience, and everybody seemed startled with the beauty, strength and power of his voice!
He captured the whole audience immediately !!!!!!!
He sang: Brindisi, O Soave Fanciulla, Votre Toast (I think), Di Quella Pira, Terzetto.
And together with the tenor, Gianfranco Montresor, the Pearlfisher's Duet !!!!!!!!!!
I was a bit disappointed he did not sing E Lucevan le Stelle, even if it was announced
in the program, which is my favourite classical piece by Andrea.....
After the intermission it was Vieni sul Mar, Granada, Mama, Funiculi Funiculà.
Then there was again a small intermission, filled with a piece of the orchestra,
and Andrea returned in................... woohoo........... his WHITE jacket !
Which brought him great applause!
He started joking in English, saying as we could see he changed his jacket, NOT
because it was dirty, but because he wanted to change the setting of the concert,
for now he was going to sing some 'Amore" songs, because this album
has been SO well received in Holland.
Standing ovation of course !!!!!!!!!!!!
He started of with Besame Mucho, and also sang Somos Novios,
Because we Believe (no Marco Borsato this time I am sad to say).
This was according to the program.
BUT, he ALSO sang: The Prayer (SO beautiful, just Andrea singing the song solo,
no duet!), Solamente una Vez AND Can't help falling in Love !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He sang for about 15 to 20 minutes longer then he was supposed to !
About halfway through this part of the concert, Andrea and the conductor were getting ready to
start another "Amore"-song, the crowd had become very quiet, and suddenly, from
somewhere in the crowd a voice cried out, ever so loudly:
"ANDREA, I LOVE YOU", which brought the greatest smile on Andrea's face,
I have EVER seen (through my binoculars fortunately, thank God I had
them with me, and was looking through it when this happened!!!)  and the whole
crowd started clapping and cheering for this person, AND for Andrea!
He looked ever so pleased with it !!!!
And of course he finished off with Time to say Goodbye, he sang it mostly alone,
the soprano only accompanied him a little in the chorus, and so did the choir,
which was SO beautiful, had never heard this song with a choir before!
When Andrea was singing Time to say Goodbye, I  phoned my sister-in-law and good
mate Sonja, who has recently lost her 18-year-old daughter, and played this song on the funeral,
so she could listen too, which she very much appreciated I heard later on.....
Brought back some memories, and I teared up completely......
 Rotterdam 10. 11. 2006, thanks to Wilma!
And when he was finished the crowd gave him yet another standing ovation, we
clapped and shouted as if we would NEVER let him go, but unfortunately, we had to...... :-(((
In the beginning of the concert he looked nervous, with clinched fists, but very
early on he became more and more relaxed, and was really having some serious fun, he MUST
have felt how much we love him!
And after EVERY piece he sang, he reached out for the conductor's hand, and they
held it firmly, both with BIG smiles on their faces !!!!!
I could see him much closer up with my binoculars, and every time I did, and saw him,
my heart seemed to skip a beat, and when the concert was over, I left the building TOTALLY in awe...
And I still am, being home again for several days now.
Thank God my cat is getting a little better every day, she decided to stay
a little longer with us, so I can remain in the Bocelli-zone longer..... and enjoy the
concert over and over again in my mind........
Anyone else know this 'sinking feeling' one gets, when realizing that what one has anticipated
for sooo long, is already behind you ???? 
Oh well, there's always next time, one can hope, and I also hope
this time it won't take him as long as 4 years to come back.......
When God created Andrea Bocelli, He was just showing off !


November 12, 2006 Antwerp/Belgium - Sportpaleis


Anvers , 12 novembre 2006Antwerpen 12. 11. 2006, thanks to Astrid!
Du délire !! Une « standing ovation » pour commencer , une « standing ovation » pour terminer  ! Et au milieu ? Rien que du bonheur ….
Plus svelte ( mais oui ! ) , le cheveu juste à la bonne longueur , souriant , plaisantant même … : cet homme-là possède un charme à nul autre pareil ! Et la voix ? Ma foi , c’est LA voix ! Tantôt puissante et tenant des notes « intenables » ( la peur au ventre  , je me dis : mamma mia , c’est trop , il va « casser » ! ) , tantôt vibrante , sensuelle et tendre , tendre ….à vous mettre le cœur en miettes … ! Quel magicien es-tu donc , Andrea , pour nous faire ainsi éprouver tant de bonheur et tant d’émotions , pour nous donner cette impression , chaque fois , que cette fois , c’était encore mieux que celle d’avant ?
Et cette fois encore , tout était parfait , TU étais parfait …jusqu’au salut final , que j’adore , tant il est simple et vrai , le geste du bras d’un ami qui part , mais qui semble dire « je reviendrai » …
Je t’ai emporté dans mon cœur , petit rayon de soleil qui réchauffera mon hiver , en attendant l’été prochain .
Ciao , Andrea , rendez-vous à Lajatico …

Antwerpen 12. 11. 2006, thanks to Astrid!


December 16, 2006 
MALTA, Malta Convention Centre Tà Qali
It was absolutely fantastic. The venue, the audience, the staff and a beautiful printed programme for £3 which was so much better than anything we had in Birmingham. The concert was a sell out and we were lucky enough to get seats l5 rows from the stage and a little towards the right of where Andrea stood. A fantastic view but no photos I'm afraid.

The National Orchestra of Malta conducted by Carlo Bernini opened the concert with Bizet but I was just holding my breath waiting for the MOMENT to arrive. He came on stage with Bernini wearing his black suit and the applause was deafening. The audience clapped and cheered and he just stood there quietly waiting ..and waiting ..and waiting. I sat there just drooling and then he finally started to sing E Lucevan le stella and again the applause was overwhelming. I felt so pleased with the audience for being so enthusiastic - imagine how proud his mother is to hear such a welcome for him!!

He was joined on stage by the baritone and they sang Au fond du Temple Saint, which I just loved. The Maltese soprano Lydia Caruana also appeared and they sang together. I won't go into all the detail because its too long but it was over so quickly.

After the interval the orchestra played Carmen Preludio and the audience joined in and after a while Bernini turned to us and started conducting and laughing. Then it was Andrea's turn again and he sang Granada which the audience loved and they were clapping and cheering as he was still holding the last notes.

He finally changed into his white jacket and said in English that he expected everyone here could speak Italian, so he would speak in Italian. I understood the joke about the jacket but then he spoke for a while and everyone cheered but I couldn't understand a word of it. Thanks Angel for letting us know about the dedication. He sang the old favorites Besame Mucho, Somos novios and Because we Believe. The cheering and clapping were amazing and everyone was standing. He came back for three curtain calls and sang The Prayer, Time to Say Goodbye andCan't Help Falling in Love. Every time he left the stage and waved goodbye, the audience went on and on with the cheering and clapping so he came back again and stood there with the others, just smiling and bowing. I think he came back three times in all and I couldn't decide whether I was excited about him being on stage again, or worried that he must be so tired and feeling guilty after he had given such a wonderful performance!!!

At the airport the next day, I saw the Malta Times with Andrea's photo on the front page. It was too soon after the concert for there to be a report but there was a story that on the Friday, people waiting for friends and relatives at the airport were excited to see the famous tenor arrive and broke into applause as he came through the airport. He said he was feeling tired after the flight from USA but thanked them for the warm welcome and was looking forward to seeing them at the concert next day.

Hope this makes sense because I'm also feeling a bit tired after all the excitement but it was worth it and the people of Malta as well as the excellent venue and facilities made it a fantastic experience.

by Gill
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