The Italian star tenor Andrea Bocelli (64) is a family man - also when it comes to work. For his Christmas album "A Family Christmas", which was released at the end of October, he brought his son Matteo (24) and his daughter Virginia (10) to the recording studio. In a joint interview with the news agency spot on news, the three spoke about Christmas traditions, plans for the future and the pressure of expectations.
Andrea Bocelli: The original idea of making a new Christmas album with the family came from the label. It was at the time that the tenth World Meeting of Families was being held in Rome. I thought of the words spoken by Pope Francis (86) on that occasion and we accepted the challenge of creating a real musical project conceived by one family for other families on the occasion of Holy Christmas.
I love Christmas music precisely because of the special component that characterizes it. Namely her ability to convey goodness, to remind us of the power of hope, love and goodness.
Andrea Bocelli: Today I can record at home without any problems - and that's how it was in this case. So we worked in an absolutely calm atmosphere and shared our daily life with the production team. For Matteo, but also for Virginia, it is not the first time that we make music together. But producing an album was indeed a more demanding experience.
They were unforgettable days and I consider this opportunity a gift that I did not expect. Also because singing together is always an intense experience, a meeting of souls. Even more so when you mix your voice with those you care about most in the world.
Andrea Bocelli: Virginia is still a child. She loves music, she studies the piano, dance and gymnastics. Recently she even sang with me in front of a large audience. But she is ten years old and for her these activities, although demanding, are no more than a game at the moment. It's still too early to tell if music will be her profession. My greatest wish is that one day Virginia will recognize her own ambitions and use her talents.
Matteo Bocelli: I'm very proud of my journey so far. Of course I am always compared to my father. It's one of the biggest challenges I've faced since the day I decided to pursue a music career. The comparison comes with great expectations, but it also spurs me on to work even harder.
Matteo Bocelli: Growing up with a famous father was normal for me. Everything has its pros and cons and I always try to see the positives - despite the challenges that inevitably come with being the son of a music icon.
Musically, I found my independence by being truthful and authentic. I've always tried to put real emotions and feelings into my music to reach people. I think that and believing in yourself is the key to success.
Virginia Bocelli: As you can imagine, in our Italian singing family there is a lot of music and of course a lot of food. My favorite Christmas dessert is torrone, a chocolate bar with hazelnuts inside. Thats so yummy. And of course we always go to Christmas Mass together. After that, head home to see what presents Santa has brought for everyone.
Matteo Bocelli: In Italy it is traditional to eat fish on Christmas Eve, along with the famous tortellini en brodo [Eng. Tortellini in broth, ed.] and for dessert, of course, panettone, a kind of sweet bread. i love it all
Andrea Bocelli: We don't follow any particular traditions on Christmas Eve. December 25th is important to spend with family and to remember together the deep spiritual meaning of this Christian festival. We decorate both the tree and the crib: these are traditions that warm the heart and that should not be missing in the Bocelli house. We start the day by going to Holy Mass together. Back home, we take turns opening the presents and waiting for lunch.
This year will be the first Christmas without my mother who went to heaven to live with her husband, my father Sandro. We will remember it with much affection and gratitude. In the afternoon we reach our country estate and continue celebrating with our relatives.