Classical Music with William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – The Early Years

classical music

Welcome to the first part in the Andrea Bocelli story. The multi-award winning cross over tenor has won not just critical acclaim for his beautiful voice, but the hearts of millions around the world. He is the perfect choice to take us into the festive season as his Christmas Album is packed with wonderful music to bring a sparkle to the occasion.  I will now hand you over to William Price King to take us through the early life and career of this wonderful artist.

51wcyjeld4l-_ss135_sl160_Andrea Bocelli was born to Alessandro and Edi Bocelli who lived on a farm in the village of La Sterza, a suburb of the town of Lajatico, 50 kilometres from Florence the capital of the Tuscany region of Italy. His parents made their living by selling farm machinery and making wine and his family continue to live there today.

Andrea was born in September 1958 following what must have been a stressful time for the family. Doctors determined that the baby was likely to be born with disabilities and his parents were recommended to terminate the pregnancy. But Alessandro and Edi decided not to do so, and Andrea was born apparently healthy.  However, it soon became apparent that he did have sight problems and was diagnosed eventually with congenital glaucoma.

Throughout his early childhood his mother said that music was the only thing that brought this little boy comfort as he struggled with his condition, and by the age of six he had begun piano lessons. Over the next few years he went on to learn to play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, guitar and drums. He was still only a small boy when he was introduced to opera. His nanny gave him his first record of the internationally renowned tenor Franco Corelli.

Born in 1921 this artist was associated with the dramatic tenor roles of the Italian repertory including composers such as Rossini, Verdi and Puccini. Dubbed the Prince of Tenors, he was celebrated universally for his powerhouse voice, electrifying top notes, clear timbre, passionate singing and remarkable performances. Having listened to Franco Corelli, Andrea was now determined to follow a singing career.  Even at the age of seven he was able to recognise the foremost tenors of the time and within a few years he was performing their music in public.

Andrea gave his first concert in a small village near his home and I suspect that those in the audience, whilst marvelling at this young boy’s voice, would not have envisaged that one day he would be such an international star.  Here is Franco Corelli singing Torna a Surriento.

In a devastating blow in 1970, at the age of 12, Andrea lost his sight completely following an accident during a football game. He was hit in the eye playing goalkeeper during a match and suffered a brain hemorrhage.

Undeterred, at age 14 Andrea won his first competition, The Margherita d’Oro in Viareggio singing O Sole Mio.

Apart from his passion for music, Andrea did well at school and at age twenty, he began law studies at the University of Pisa. To earn money, Andrea performed in local piano bars in the evenings and after obtaining his degree, he spent a year as a court appointed lawyer.

However, singing was still a driving force in Andrea’s life and in 1992, the Italian rock star Zucchero held auditions for tenors to make a demo tape of his song Miserere, to send to Luciano Pavarotti.  His intention was to persuade the great tenor to duet with him on the song but initially, having heard Andrea Bocelli’s audition, Pavarotti suggested that Zucchero record with him instead.

However, eventually Pavarotti did record the original with Zucchero and it was a huge hit. But the following year during the rock star’s European concert tour, Andrea Bocelli accompanied him and as well as Miserere, Andrea performed solo sets singing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot.

Andrea Bocelli gives an exquisite performance of Miserere. The emotion flows easily and his passion is evident. This is a remarkable cross-over duet with Zucchero in spite of the fact that they have two totally different *timbres.

Note:  timbre – the character and quality of a musical voice.

Later that year Bocelli signed with the Sugar Music label in Milan after the president of the label heard him sing both songs at Zucchero’s birthday party.  In the December he entered the preliminary round of the world famous Sanremo Music Festival, performing Miserere and won the newcomer category with the highest marks ever received.

This was followed by his debut in the classical world in a concert at the Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia.

In February 1994, he entered the main Sanremo Festival competition with Il mare calmo della sera, and he won the newcomers section, again with a record score. Following his win, Bocelli released his debut album of the same name in April, and it entered the Italian Top Ten, being certified platinum within weeks.


With his distinctive *classical crossover sound, Bocelli delights us with a vocal contrast between the light, tenor quality of his voice and a cutting edge raspy tone filled with emotion. He is an impressive communicator, and in this song the emotion speaks for itself.

Note: classical crossover – a style that hovers between classical and popular music, targeted for fans of both genres and in this case for classically trained singers.

BUY Andrea Bocelli’s Music:

Official Website:

Additional material


About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Links to website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

You will find the previous series on Luciano Pavarotti in this directory.

Thank you so much for joining us today.. We would be grateful if you could reblog or share the post to give this new series a great send off.. thanks Sally

29 thoughts on “Classical Music with William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – The Early Years

  1. Pingback: Classical Music with William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – The Early Years | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Fantabulous intro to Bocelli! What a life from birth to fame. I never knew the cause of his blindness, so this was informative. The music is divine, and indeed a wonderful choice of musician for the season. Thanks Sal and William. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg, this takes me to a different dimension – lifts me right out of the physical and into the realm of spirit. If I died listening to Andrea sing, I would die happy. Thank you Sally and William. This is exquisite … ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Classical Music with William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – The Early Years | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Andrea Bocelli, Books and Fondant Robins. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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