By Matt Kelemen
Andrea Bocelli brings audiences together the way Las Vegas attracts visitors from every walk of life, so it’s not surprising that the world’s most popular tenor includes the MGM Grand Garden Arena on his Christmas concert itinerary for the fourth year.
Bocelli, 54, still maintains a grueling schedule nearly two decades after his appearance at the Sanremo Music Festival made him an overnight sensation in his native Italy. Tuscany’s favorite singing son quickly became an international star, putting him in the blessing-and-curse position of being a pop-classical crossover singer.
So while Bocelli fans the flames of traditional opera for the masses for most of the year and withstands criticism from the classical music world’s critical vanguard for doing so, Christmas affords him more room to roam.
Whether members of Bocelli’s Las Vegas audience first heard his voice via the Bellagio fountains or at his December 2005 concert on a floating stage at Lake Las Vegas, they gather at his Christmas shows to share in the singing voice to which Celine Dion herself once attributed a divine comparison.