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Friday, December 2 at 9 p.m. Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park, a Great Performances Special

(Rochester, NY) – Beloved tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a free concert on Central Park’s Great Lawn on September 15, 2011 and Great Performances captured the evening on film with Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park, premiering Friday, December 2 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT2.1/cable 1011 and 11).Bocelli was joined by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by its music director Alan Gilbert.The program is the New York-based offering of the multi-city PBS Arts Fall Festival. The program will encore on Sunday, December 4 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD.

Widely regarded as the most popular Italian tenor in the world with more than 70 million albums sold, Bocelli was joined that rainy, windswept evening by pop stars Céline Dion, Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, and David Foster, and from the classical world bass baritone Bryn Terfel, sopranos Ana María Martínez and Pretty Yende, and violinist Nicola Benedetti, along with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, under the direction of Joe Miller. Bocelli presented a varied repertoire that includes well known arias, fan favorites, and  some new surprises.

Since Great Performances introduced American television audiences to Bocelli with 1997's Romanza concert, Bocelli has been featured in a notable series of Great Performances specials,including Sacred Arias, Amore, Vivere, My Christmas and American Dream, his spectacular "Statue of Liberty" concert from New Jersey's Liberty State Park.

Bocelli’s performance was the latest in a rich tradition of memorable free concerts in Central Park which, over the years, has included such notable performers as Barbra Streisand, Simon and Garfunkel, Diana Ross, Garth Brooks, Bob Marley and the Wailers, and Bon Jovi.

Before the concert, Bocelli nostalgically reflected, "I cannot help but smile when thinking about the upcoming concert in Central Park. It was my father's dream, and my father was right, because my artistic path would have been entirely different without the strong and sincere embrace of this extraordinary city where everything is possible, even when it seems impossible. My father will not be there, but I can count on his blessing and his kind and gentle smile to give me courage. My mother, sitting in the front row, will feel my father, too, and they will be together again just like when I was a little boy performing on the fireplace steps. Perhaps they had secretly dreamed that I might have the opportunity to perform in New York City, and maybe right here in Central Park."

Pictured: Andrea Bocelli
Credit: Courtesy of Giovanni De Sandre

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