October 5th, 2006
Andrea Bocelli in concert

Accompanied by; Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Prague chamber choir
Conducted by Maestro Marcello Rota
Soprano, Daniela Bruera
Baritone, Gianfranco Montresor.
Manchester, 5.10.2006, thanks to Tina!

Once again we travelled to Manchester, in the incessant pouring heavy rain! The visibility on the motorway was terrible, and the journey which usually would take us 45 minutes, took us over 2 hours! But nothing would stop us from seeing Andrea Bocelli! Certainly not rain!
Once safely at the Hotel, I met up with my great friend Doh, who had travelled on the train from Northamptonshire, it has been over a year since me last met, and that is way too long!
We had some time to kill, so we enjoyed a stroll around Manchester centre, stopped for a sandwich and a pot of tea, then we went back to the Hotel to ready ourselves for the evening so eagerly awaited.
Doh and I had arranged to meet another fan, Marusca, for a meal at 6pm, and i got a phone call in my room, it was Marusca who was waiting for us in the reception! Chris and I hurried down to meet her, and there she was, with her husband Geremy, they were already sitting chatting with Doh.
It was lovely to meet another new fan, and as we were exchanging hugs and kisses, another lady, Suzan, joined us! Suzan had read on the official site that we were meeting there, so the more the merrier, and we went to eat.
Well, unusually for me, everything went to plan! We had a nice meal and a bottle of red wine, and we talked non stop, getting to know each other! It was lovely!
Marusca is a beautiful lady, and very elegant with long black hair as is usual for an Italian!
My partner Chris was made up, as it gave him a chance to practise his by now quite rusty Italian! LOL
Unfortunately, Doh's partner Jim could not make it as he had the Flu and was really very ill, poor man.
After the meal, we took a taxi to the M.E.N arena, joined the queue, and Doh who had Jims spare ticket, very kindly offered it to Marusca, as it was a much better seat, 6th row centre!
Marusca was very excited, as it was her first time seeing Andrea in concert, and what a great view she had of him!
Sitting in my seat, 4th row centre, i was looking around trying to see Sally, but it was impossible to find her in the huge crowd. But, i did see Dorothy and her daughter Suzanne, who had travelled all the way from Cypruss to be there, they are also attending the Wembley concert next sunday!
Well, the orchestra took their seats, Rota came out to big applause, the lights dimmed, and we were off!
The first piece was Danza Slava no.2 by Dvorak. The orchestra were superb and i must say i recognised some of them from previous concerts.

 Rota then left the stage and returned with Andrea from stage left. The audience welcomed him with rapturous applause, as befits this great man!
Andrea was wearing his Armani black tuxedo, white shirt and white bow tie. He looked a little nervous as he always does at the start, just a tight fist now and again showing his stage fright.he launched into brindisi from cavalleria Rusticana. The Prague chamber choir was a joy to behold! I have always said this song NEEDS a choir to do it full justice, and boy did they do it well!Manchester, 5.10.2006, thanks to Tina!
Then the baritone with Andrea took to the stage to sing Au fond tu temple saint, from the Pearlfishers by Bizet. Gianfranco Montresor had a deep rich voice which blended perfectly with Andrea's.
Then followed Aria de Vilja from Lehars Merry Widow. Andrea was relaxing a bit more by now, blessing us with his gorgeous smile after every song, i think he was enjoying himself! He came out with the Soprano Daniella Bruera and they sang O Suave fanciulla from La Boheme. Daniella looked radiant in her lovely gown, and she sang with all her heart, just lovely!
Next came Va Pensiero from Verdi's Nabucco, which was stunning, and then came Gianfranco again singing Toreador from Carmen.
Andrea came back on stage, again to huge enrapturous applause, to treat us to Di Quella Pira from Verdi's Trovatore, then gave us another Verdi, Terzetto. He nailed the high C perfectly!
Forgive me if i have missed a few songs, but the programme did change from the original, no E Lucevan le Stelle this time.
Intermission now, which gave me a chance to speak to Doh and Marusca. Marusca was mesmerized! The look on her face was perfect! lol I think she was near to tears!
The interval went by so fast, then we took our seats to enjoy the second half.

Manchester, 5.10.2006, thanks to Tina!
Rota started off with Valzer Verdi, from Il Gattopardo, and then Andrea came back on stage wearing a white jacket!
He spoke to the audience, saying, 'You will see i have changed my jacket, it is not dirty, it is just that now we change the mood'!
He sand Vieni sul mar, which was a great treat for me as i was hoping i would hear this song at last! It was totally gorgeous, and then he sang 'Granada', i was hoping for this song too, and he did not dissapoint! I used my mobile phone to ring my friend Lorna so that she could hear it, and she did, loud and clear! lol
Next came Amacord, and then Funiculi funicula, this song was also a first for me hearing him sing it! Such a treat!
Mamma, and La Strada followed, and then it was the encores.
As the first bars of Besame mucho started, the audience went absolutely wild! Whistling, cheering, and a few shouts of Ti'amo Andrea, we love you Andrea, and will you marry me? were heard, which made Andrea laugh, lol
Somos novios, because we believe, and it's impossible, and the prayer followed, all to rapturous applause once again. Andrea gave us his famous wave, and he was gone.
Then followed a medley of noise from the audience, much shouting, whistling and foot stamping, because we all knew that there would be one last song, and then Andrea appeared with daniella to sing, of course his anthem, Time to say Goodbye. Even after all these years, this song when he sings it live at the end of a concert, always brings tears to my eyes.
A final wave and he was gone.
One thing i did notice though, they were not presented with any flowers at the end?? First time i have ever seen this.
But what an evening and what a fantastic concert, possibly the best i have ever been to, but i say that every year! lol
by Tina xxx

October 8th, 2006
The weather for our trip to London this year was fantastic.  We were able to do many things as the sun shined each day for us. Our friends in England said they had hoped that the rain would stop and that it did till the day we left. This is my second time to attend a concert at the Wembley Arena in Middlesex.  I must say they have made many improvements to the arena itself, inside and out, all a plus.  My seat was great and I was excited to see The Tenor arrive.
London, 8.10.2006, thanks to Karen!
 From the first note, we knew that he had a sureness about himself and the performance was amazing from beginning to end.  The program was the same as the other UK performances until the encores.  Tina gave such a great outline of the songs so I won't go into that.  Our encores for Wembley included Somos Novious, Can't Help Falling In Love, (very lovely rendition), Because We Believe, (English and Italian), The Prayer, and CTP.  The white jacket made a hit at Wembley too as the crowd went crazy.  He told us the same story, that his jacket was not dirty, but that the repertoire was changing.  Rosalia Misseri's voice was quite different from his other guests that have done Somos Novious with him.  I think a deeper quality.  Daniela Bruera did well blending with Andrea's voice.  My favorite of the baritones that has sung with Andrea is Gianfranco Montresor and their version of The Pearl Fisher's Duet is very moving.  He did sing E lucevan le stelle for us though.  The not presenting of flowers carried through at Wembley too.  Maybe the allergies are acting up for Andrea?
London, 8.10.2006, thanks to Karen!
 The orchestra was fantastic along with the chorus.  Rota led them into two songs that I would almost call "swing."  Very different from the usual pieces we hear at the concerts.  I was finally at a concert where the chorus sang Va Pensiero.  What a treat that was for me.  I had only heard it on recordings before.  All in all, I can say the concert was very worth traveling to London for.  Andrea was fantastic, the weather was fantastic and the stay there was amazing.  Finally, I got to see all the things in London that I hoped for before.  We got to meet with several of our Bo friends and met a couple new ones.  That is always an added treat.  Andrea does so much more than just sing for us.  He makes so many memories for us all.  I thank him and Veronica from the bottom of my heart!
 by Karen/OH


October 4th, 2006
We flew to Glasgow from Gatwick on the 3rd really excited about getting the
opportunity to see Andrea again. It was also a special treat for my Mum on
her birthday as she has never seen him.

I got throught the day just passing the time until the evening when
eventually we got to the SECC. Not the best venue to enjoy the timbre of
Andrea's range but anywhere is acceptable when its Andrea!  The concert had
a bit of a false start because they forgot to turn on the microphones but
Andrea professional as ever continued as though nothing were amiss.  I could
see the screens fairly well and Andrea looked gorgeous in black jacket and
white shirt, he was visibly nervous and took time to relax, possibly
overwhelmed by the applause when he walked onto the stage which took several
minutes to subside before Andrea could commence.  I wish I was more versed
in the names of the songs but confess my ignorance in this respect. The
first half was an operatic feast absolutely breath taking, Andrea was joined
by Daniela Bruera and Gianfranco Montresor.

In the 2nd Half Andrea went off after two songs and came back on stage
sporting a white Jacket. He commented that he hadn't changed because his
jacket was dirty but because he was going to change the mood!  He then sang
songs from Amore. This was amazing he started with Besame Mucho and was
joined for Somos Novious by a young girl who tried very hard but wasnt quiet
up to scratch. Andrea was however his usual example of humility making his
companion at ease.  He then sang Can't help falling in love which was
absolutely amazing. His voice seemed a lot stronger and clearer in these
songs than in the operatic numbers but this may have had more to do with the
acoustics of the building than with Andrea.

Leaving the stage after can't help falling in love, I think his first encore was 'because we believe' this was just amazing, the audience applauded and stamped until he returned with the young girl to sing 'the prayer.' Again the she had difficulty emulating the highs of Celine Dion but Andrea did not
draw attention to this in anyway, ever humble, ever professional and gave her a warm smile as she left the stage.  This was was followed with 'Time to say Goodbye,' to which a good Scottish roar went up and the audience was treated to this closing number.

This concert went from strength to strength, concentration apparent on Andrea's face in the first half gave way to a relaxed, smiling, Andrea in the 2nd half.  A night to be remembered and my Mum loved it!  I knew she would!  Thank You Andrea for another memory to treasure.

by Maggie

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