170 // LA DOLCE VITA

Ocean Drive - - Contents - By JEAN NA­YAR pho­tog­ra­phy by JUSTIN NA­MON

Be­fore a pre-valen­tine’s Day show in Mi­ami, An­drea Bo­celli and his wife, Veron­ica Berti, open up about mu­sic, life, and love in their gra­cious Key­stone Point re­treat.

Ahead of his pre-valen­tine’s Day per­for­mance in Mi­ami, su­per­star tenor An­drea Bo­celli and his wife, Veron­ica Berti, open up about mu­sic, life, and love in their gra­cious re­treat in Key­stone Point.

Born in Tus­cany, An­drea Bo­celli’s mu­si­cal ta­lent emerged at the age of 6, when he started study­ing the pi­ano in his fam­ily home near Pisa. But it wasn’t un­til Christ­mas Day in 1994—when he was in­vited to sing “Adeste Fide­les” in St. Peter’s Basil­ica be­fore the pope— that his me­te­oric rise on the world stage be­gan. Since then, the mod­ern tenor has been per­form­ing non­stop on pop­u­lar, the­atri­cal, and op­er­atic stages around the globe, record­ing al­most 40 al­bums and sell­ing 85 mil­lion of them. Beloved by his fans and cher­ished by his peers, he has shared the stage with fel­low stel­lar vo­cal­ists like Lu­ciano Pavarotti, Ce­line Dion, Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, and Ce­cilia Bar­toli. This month, Bo­celli will per­form a pre-valen­tine’s Day con­cert pre­sented by the Adrienne Ar­sht Cen­ter at the Amer­i­canair­lines Arena in downtown Mi­ami.

What drew you to Mi­ami as a place to live for part of the year? An­drea Bo­celli: It is a spe­cial [city] kissed by the sun and the sea—a hos­pitable place, a meet­ing point of dif­fer­ent cul­tures and tra­di­tions that have melted [to­gether], giv­ing it a sparkling at­mos­phere, which it is not so easy to find else­where. It is one of the places I love most in the world—here I can rest and en­joy its nat­u­ral beau­ties and its priv­i­leged cli­mate. Tell us about your home here. Veron­ica Berti: We ar­rived in Mi­ami from New York in 2013 af­ter be­ing locked in dur­ing a snow­storm. As soon as we stepped out into the warm Mi­ami air, An­drea said, “I’m buy­ing a house here,” and he asked me to ex­plore the op­tions. I found a house in Key­stone Point that was listed that day by the owner, and when we went to visit it, I fell in love at first sight. We bought it 12 hours later. It’s a Colo­nial-in­spired con­tem­po­rary house with seven be­d­rooms and a big liv­ing room by the pool. It faces the bay and sea. How does your Mi­ami home rep­re­sent your life­style and fam­ily? AB: I have al­ways con­ceived my res­i­dences as cozy, in­ti­mate places. My wife and I wanted the one in Mi­ami to re­spond to

“I HAVE SPENT THE WHOLE OF MY LIFE HON­OR­ING LOVE THROUGH MY SINGING.”—AN­DREA bo­celli

cer­tain pri­or­i­ties, such as liv­abil­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity. El­e­gant, I hope and be­lieve, but not pre­ten­tious.

VB: We like warmth and hu­mid­ity and live most of the time with the A/C off and the doors open. The house also has nice out­door ar­eas, in­clud­ing a dock on the bay, where I spend a lot of time with our daugh­ter, Vir­ginia, look­ing at birds and an­i­mals, like man­a­tees, dol­phins, squir­rels, rac­coons, and lizards—it’s like liv­ing at a zoo—and we sit there for hours.

What does your Mi­ami home mean to you in light of your busy travel schedule? AB: Cer­tainly I come here, but I “live” in it less than I would like to. But con­sid­er­ing that I get back to the United States at least three times a year, I can en­joy a few days of peace un­der the Florida sun. I have spent a couple of Christ­mases here, too.

VB: We’re al­ways run­ning around the world, work­ing 18 hours a day, so when we’re here, we can en­joy time with fam­ily and re­ally rest.

Do you en­gage in hob­bies or work/prac­tice from home? AB: At home, I prac­tice singing ev­ery day. The day I stop do­ing it, I will not be a singer any­more! And then I play the pi­ano in my liv­ing room in Mi­ami, as I do in my house in Tus­cany.

What’s your idea of a perfect Sun­day af­ter­noon? AB: One that I spend with my chil­dren, and when­ever it is pos­si­ble, go­ing horse­back rid­ing. And in Mi­ami we eat very well, for the same rea­son we also live very well—it is a [city] that brings to­gether many tra­di­tions, many culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences, many in­flu­ences, from Cuba to South Amer­ica. Here you can also find many restau­rants of­fer­ing re­fined Ital­ian cui­sine.

VB: We of­ten have 16 peo­ple at lunch at home, in­clud­ing the chil­dren and the peo­ple who work in our house with us, en­joy­ing a home-cooked meal.

What can we ex­pect at your up­com­ing pre-valen­tine’s Day con­cert? AB: For me, Valen­tine’s Day is a spe­cial day; it is an oc­ca­sion to cel­e­brate love, to ex­press even more strongly the love we feel for the peo­ple who are dear to us. I love to cel­e­brate it, es­pe­cially [by] singing on­stage. On the other hand, I have spent the whole of my life hon­or­ing love through my singing, and my goal is to live as if ev­ery day were Valen­tine’s Day.

Do you have any other up­com­ing al­bums or col­lab­o­ra­tions? AB: We are work­ing on sev­eral projects, but it is too early to talk about them... The spe­cial edi­tion of Ro­manza [was just] re­leased to cel­e­brate the 20th an­niver­sary of its first pub­li­ca­tion. In­side the new edi­tion of this al­bum, which is a sort of com­pen­dium of my per­sonal and artis­tic story, the songs have been re­pro­duced to­tally re­newed in sound qual­ity. It also in­cludes many sur­prises, such as spe­cial ver­sions of “Con Te Par­tirò.”

VB: We are also very en­gaged in the ac­tiv­i­ties of the An­drea Bo­celli Foun­da­tion, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that car­ries on projects aimed at over­com­ing bar­ri­ers cre­ated by poverty, dis­abil­ity, and so­cial ex­clu­sion, and that, this year, has cel­e­brated five years. In par­tic­u­lar, ABF is en­gaged in two pro­grams. The first one, in the field of sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal re­search as well as so­cial in­no­va­tion, is work­ing to find in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to help peo­ple face and over­come the lim­i­ta­tions of their dis­abil­i­ties. The sec­ond is aimed at over­com­ing bar­ri­ers cre­ated by poverty,

dis­abil­ity, and so­cial ex­clu­sion. We are very ac­tive in Haiti, where we have cre­ated and sup­ported hos­pi­tals, or­phan­ages, schools, and gen­er­ally a cap­il­lary ac­tion of em­pow­er­ment of peo­ple. Ev­ery day we sup­ply ed­u­ca­tion, food, and med­i­cal sup­port to more than 2,500 chil­dren. One of our projects, Voices of Haiti, a chil­dren’s choir group, re­cently made its de­but at Lin­coln Cen­ter in New York.

What do you like best about early spring in Mi­ami? AB: Spring, wher­ever I am, is the time of the year I love the most. Not by chance the first day of spring is also the date when my daugh­ter, Vir­ginia, was born, and when my part­ner and I got mar­ried. Even in Mi­ami, I think it is the best time of the year, not too hu­mid and with a perfect tem­per­a­ture.

Do you have an ab­so­lute favorite song? AB: “My Way” is a perfect song from all points of view, whose melody re­mains im­pressed in your soul, but also “Time to Say Good­bye”—it is un­de­ni­able that, in its own way, this song has be­come a clas­sic in ev­ery cor­ner of the world, giv­ing strong emo­tions and en­ter­ing peo­ple’s hearts. I, for one, am never tired of singing it. An­drea Bo­celli per­forms on Fe­bru­ary 12 at Amer­i­canair­lines Arena, 601 Bis­cayne Blvd., Mi­ami, 786-777-1000; tick­et­mas­ter.com.

“[MI­AMI] BRINGS TO­GETHER MANY TRA­DI­TIONS, MANY IN­FLU­ENCES, FROM CUBA TO SOUTH AMER­ICA.” —an­drea bo­celli

The Colo­nial-in­spired con­tem­po­rary home in North Mi­ami’s Key­stone Point has seven be­d­rooms and a large pool look­ing out over Bis­cayne Bay. “When we first went to visit it [in 2013], I fell in love. We bought it 12 hours later,” says Veron­ica Berti. left: The Bo­celli fam­ily: Mat­teo, An­drea, Vir­ginia, Veron­ica, and Amos at their Florida res­i­dence.

The spa­ces were con­ceived as el­e­gant, while also em­pha­siz­ing a sense of prac­ti­cal­ity, like the airy, fam­ily-friendly sit­ting room.” be­low: Div­ing din­ing: “We of­ten have 16 peo­ple at lunch, in­clud­ing the chil­dren and the peo­ple who work in our house with us, en­joy­ing a home-cooked meal,” Berti says. op­po­site page: Bo­celli play­ing the pi­ano in the liv­ing room.

Berti likes to spend time by the dock just be­yond the pool with the couple’s daugh­ter, Vir­ginia, look­ing at man­a­tees and dol­phins. “It’s like liv­ing at a zoo,” she says. be­low: The break­fast room. op­po­site page: Berti and Bo­celli in the sit­ting room.

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