Andrea Bocelli’s best-known song is the global chart-topping original Time To Say Goodbye, but the iconic opera singer has put his own spin on various famous tracks across his career. Most notably, he and his son, rising star Matteo Bocelli, have performed two Elvis Presley songs in particular at live shows around the world over the last few years. Express.co.uk asked the 63-year-old if he’s always been a fan of The King and what he found unique about the most successful solo singer of all time.
Bocelli said: “There is no denying that Elvis had a great talent. He possessed a pliant voice with extensive range and a soft and enveloping timbre. Plus, he was an extremely charismatic person.”
The King has so many hit songs over his 21 year professional career, so why did the Italian tenor choose the two classic ballads Love Me Tender and Can’t Help Falling In Love to cover in particular?
He said: “It’s curious that they are both songs that have a long history behind them. In both cases, Elvis Presley’s versions are extraordinary and memorable. Yet I have the wishful thinking that I too had something to say, to add, artistically speaking, to the performance of these classics. The melody of Love Me Tender comes from a sentimental ballad from the time of the Civil War. It’s a song with roots that go back to the 1800s.”
Before the Portofino performance, accompanying pianist and long-term Bocelli producer David Foster told the audience: “This is so surreal to me to have Andrea Bocelli, the great tenor, in Portofino under the stars. He said to me, ‘I want to do an Elvis Presley song.’ Now Elvis Presley is a Rock and Roller, but he did have some great love songs and we’d like to do one of them for you right now.”
Speaking about his second Elvis choice, Can’t Help Falling in Love, the 63-year-old tenor told us: “As for the second, the melody is even older, being taken from a very famous Romanza composed at the end of the 18th century, Plaisir d’amour.”
The latter is a well-known French love song that was composed in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini.
Elvis famously sang Can’t Help Falling In Love in his 1961 movie Blue Hawaii in which Angela Lansbury, who is still alive at 96-years-old, played his mother.
The hit song was originally written for a female singer and had the title Can’t Help Falling In Love With Him. That’s why the first and third lines of the lyrics sung by both The King and tenor end with the words “in” and “sin”
Andrea’s most famous performance of the song took place in 2006 for Live at Lake Las Vegas Resort, which was perfect considering Elvis’ residency history in the casino-filled desert city. The live rendition features on the Italian singer’s 2006 album Amore and once again was accompanied by Foster on piano.