Review: Bocelli's 'Love in Portofino' his best ever

Don’t miss Bocelli’s upcoming Great Performance concert on PBS television stations in March. It’s his best ever. Get your best bottle of red wine from the cellar, or buy one, and sit back in total enjoyment. I’d just a nice 2005 Copertino Riserva or Sangiovese.

Portofino, a resort village on the Italian Riviera where the concert was filmed live, is spectacular. Bocelli sings 13 songs in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English, both on stage and at the water’s edge, first at dusk and then under the stars. He’s backed by the masterful Ensemble Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giacomo Loprieno.
Beautiful people in the crowd, tanned and fashionably dressed, include singer/songwriter Paul Anka and actor Sir Michael Caine.

If you don’t fall in love with Portofino, you had better check your pulse. The centuries old buildings along the waterfront look as if they’ve been sculpted by Bernini. Boats bob up and down in the shimmering water. It’s a perfect night for romance.
Bocelli’s wondrous voice and brilliant musical accompaniments from pianist David Foster, trumpeter Chris Botti and violinist Caroline Campbell bring luster to the show. (Campbell, performing in a buttery yellow strapless gown, resembles an angel from a Raphael painting). Duets with Brazilian songster “Sandy” and Helena Fischer, a German star, add to an elegant event.
Bocelli, who is married, also sings a duet with the stylish Veronica Berti, publicly known as the tenor’s fiancee (Only in Italy, right?).
Each love song is a highlight, yet Bocelli breaks new ground with a rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” that sends chills up the spine. Equally superb is Neil Diamond’s “September Morn” which Bocelli sings in his native tongue to lyrics he wrote. He caps off a momentuous night with an acknowlegement to Paul Anka’s  greatest tune, singing a mesmerizing “My Way” in Italian.
All the love songs will soon be released on an album, Passione.