Tenor Andrea Bocelli to make NY Met debut

Singer Andrea Bocelli performs during the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo in this May 18, 2010 file photo. The World Music Awards honours the bestselling recording artists from around the world. REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chart-topping Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House next year for the first time, The Met said on Monday.

The 51-year-old Bocelli, who has sold 70 million albums around the world and is best known for his classical and pop crossover success, will make his recital solo debut at The Met in February for one night only singing a program by composers such as Beethoven, Wagner, Strauss and Tosti.

The performance marks a major opera house debut for Bocelli, who has not yet sung at world renowned houses, Milan’s La Scala and The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London, according to his management.

He has performed previously at the Vienna State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Puccini festival at Torre del Lago in Italy, and at New York’s Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and in other operas and recitals around the world.

Bocelli, whose high album sales defy some critics who have judged his voice as lacking in technique, had not performed in any capacity for The Met before.

His mainstream success has seen him record more than a dozen top-selling albums and singles including “Time to Say Goodbye” with English soprano Sarah Brightman.

Bocelli, who is blind, has also recorded classical and pop duets with Celine Dion and Mary J. Blige, with whom he earned a standing ovation for performing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at the Grammy Awards in February.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant)

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