NEW YORK—Andrea Bocelli’s new album “Cinema,” a collection of songs from movies, is the culmination of a longtime dream.
The classically inspired singer fell in love with many songs as a child that he didn’t know came from the movies.
Now he has gone back to his childhood memories and recorded some of those songs, including classics like “Moon River” and “Cheek to Cheek.” Pop star Arianna Grande also appears on the song “E piu ti penso.”
Bocelli, , fresh off a performance for Pope Francis in Philadelphia and ahead of a U.S. tour in December, sat down with The Associated Press to discuss the album and more this week.
AP: Why an album of movie songs?
Bocelli: The music of the movies is a very inspired and free and beautiful music. It’s a music of freedom — like a big field where the composers can gather and run wherever they want. And, finally, it is inspired by emotion.
AP: You’ve had a real crossover career — alternating between classical and pop music. Is there a big difference in how you approach the different forms of singing?
Bocelli: There is a difference from the point of view of expression. Because when you sing opera you are very far from the people, you are onstage, and between you and the people there is the orchestra. So you have to launch your emotions very, very far. When you sing pop, you are singing very close — the microphone is very close to your mouth. You can whisper your emotions into the microphone.
AP: What’s your favorite movie song?
Bocelli: There are many masterpieces. I love very much for example “Moon River” (from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”) But I can’t choose, it wouldn’t be fair.
AP: You recently sang for Pope Francis in Philadelphia. What was that experience like?
Bocelli: The pope is a very special man. (Even) apart from religion, he’s a wonderful soul.
AP: Did your children inherit a love of music from you? Can it be inherited?
Bocelli: Virginia, the last (youngest) one, sings every day. All day. The other two study piano. I think you do (inherit it), but also there’s the possibility of educating people to listen to music. Because if you don’t have the possibility of listening to music, you can’t know if you love it.
AP: If you hadn’t become a singer, what career would you have chosen?
Bocelli: I studied law, and I was ready to be a lawyer in my country (Italy). Probably it is better for many clients that I changed my direction! But I was happy to study and I was a good student, I finished my studies. And everything that you learn is useful in life.