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Celebrate Africa – THE GRAND FINALE (Andrea Bocelli)

Big Concerts and Harvey Goldsmith are excited to announce that the legendary Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, will take centre stage at the “Celebrate Africa – THE GRAND FINALE” scheduled for Friday 9th July at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg. The multi-award winning artist Bocelli, who boasts worldwide record sales of over 70 million copies, will be joined on stage by the celebrated Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams and South Africa‘s own soprano sensation Pretty Yende.

Andrea Bocelli and Special Guests will be supported by the Italian flautist, Andrea Griminelli, the Gauteng Choristers (sixty member choir) and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra (with sixty-eight musicians), and will be conducted by Marcello Rota, one of the world‘s leading classical music- and
opera conductors.

Tickets for this special evening are available at Computicket from 09:00am on Thursday 29th April 2010.

Celebrate Africa – THE GRAND FINALE is endorsed by FIFA. The event is supported by Talk Radio 702
and SABC3.

Another BIG Concerts Experience. Produced in association with Harvey Goldsmith, CBE

FOR FURTHER MEDIA INFO on “Celebrate Africa – THE GRAND FINALE”, please contact:
Penny Stein at PS Public Relations
+27118803211 (w) or +27828816912 (m)

About Andrea Bocelli
Often referred to by peers as the operatic legend for the new millennium, Andrea Bocelli has done what many singers can‘t, succeeding in both the classical and contemporary music field. From having lead roles in operas Carmen, Madame Butterfly and Tosca, to dueting with Mary J Blige, Celine Dion and Sarah Brightman in the pop charts.

Born in Tuscany, Andrea Bocelli grew up at the family farm in Lajatico. He started playing piano and saxophone but found that his voice became his ideal instrument. After studying singing, Bocelli approached Franco Corelli, an artist who inspired him. In order to pay for singing lessons with Corelli,
Andrea would play piano in local bars. He was soon discovered by Caterina Caselli and signed to her label Sugar. It was here, Andrea had an opportunity to make his debut in the operatic stage, in 1994, in Verdi‘s Macbeth (in the role of Macduff). That Christmas he was invited to sing the Adeste Fideles in St Peters before the pope. Andrea Bocelli had found the stage.

Andrea Bocelli has achieved over 70 million record sales to date including classical recordings Viaggio Italiano (1997), Aria – The Opera Album (1998), and Sacred Arias (2000) which earned Bocelli a place in the Guinness book of World records by occupying the first, second and third place in the American classical music charts. In 2002, Andrea Bocelli combined his energies with those of Lorin Maazel, with whom he undertook a very special recording project Sentimento – a collection of romantic pieces by composers such as Tosti, Denza and Gastaldon. The project earned them a double nomination at the Classical Brit Awards in 2003 where they won both ‘Album of the Year‘ and ‘Best Selling Classical Album of the Year‘.

…and Special Guests
Guest appearances will include Bryan Adams and Pretty Yende who will perform alongside the Italian Tenor, with further special guest artist announcements to be made.

Bryan Adams is the biggest selling Canadian artist of all time who has achieved 75 million albums sales and 30 million singles sales worldwide. His self titled debut album was released in 1980 and sparked a long term song writing partnership with co-writer Jim Vallance. Throughout their careers they co-wrote for Kiss, Rod Stewart, and Neil Diamond.

The second album ‘You Want It, You Got It‘ was released in 1981 but it wasn‘t until Reckless (1984) that he achieved international success. It included the classic hit singles ‘Run to you‘, ‘Heaven‘ and ‘Summer of 69‘ which all charted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Chart. His biggest hit ‘Everything I Do, I do it for you‘ holds the record for the longest time at number 1 in the UK charts (4 months). It was used in the film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves‘ which won him a Grammy Award for ‘Best Song Written specifically for Motion Picture of TV‘. Other awards include18 Juno Awards, an American Music Award and an MTV Music Video Award.

Bryan Adams is a well known photographer published by British Vogue and Vanity Fair. In addition he is involved in charity work campaigning for The Bryan Adams Foundation which aims to advance education and learning opportunities for young children worldwide.

South African soprano singer Pretty Yende studied at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town where she had the honour of being awarded the Dean‘s Award for Best Female Opera Student. In 2008 she entered the Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition in Holland and won two prizes which led to her performing at Latvia‘s Rige Opera New Year concert.

In 2009 she received all major honours at renowned Hans Gabor Belvedere International singing competition in Vienna. Being one of the most prestigious singing competitions in the world, it offers young talent an opportunity to further their careers. It was the first time anyone had ever achieved a complete win of the awards. She also was selected as international media and the public‘s favourite performer.

Pretty is currently contracted to the world renowned La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy.

Andrea Griminelli started playing flute at the age of ten and studied at the Conservatoire de Paris. It was there he won the prestigious Prix De Paris twice and was invited to perform with Luciano Pavarotti at Madison Square Garden in New York. This lead to a long term collaboration from 1980 to 2000, where they performed together at many events including Hyde Park, London and Red Square in Moscow. Griminelli has also worked with Elton John, James Taylor and Sting and has performed with both the New York and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Marcello Rota has been a frequent guest with the world‘s great opera companies, conducting performances at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Staatsoper, Munich, Musik Halle, Hamburg, Royal Albert Hall, London, Palais Des Beaux Arts in Bruxelles, and the Elisabeth Halle in Antwerp to name a few.

He has been a regular guest of renowned orchestras including the Philharmonic Orchestras of Munich, Berlin and Mannheim, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, and New Zealand Symphonies.

He has also worked with many famous soloists including Rostropovich, Rampal, Galway, Baumann, Sitkovetsky, Cecilia Gasdia, Tiziana Fabbricini, Maria Dragoni, Katia, Mariella Devia, Kiri Te Kanawa, Renato Bruson, Leo Nucci and most notably in a memorable performance with Andrea Bocelli and the Toscanini Orchestra of Parma at the Bologna concert in the presence of the Pope John Paul II.

The Gauteng Choristers, a choir based in the Gauteng region, has developed into one of the cornerstones of choral and classical music of our time.

Formed in 1998, they have won numerous awards over the years, including being crowned national  champions for the Old Mutual/Telkom National Choir Festival in 2006 and 2001 (Standard Category), second in 2004 (Large Category) and 2000 and third in 2007 and 1999.

They also made history in 2007, when they toured Europe performing ‘Porgy ‘n Bess’, becoming the first South African choir to perform an opera in Europe. The Gauteng Choristers takes the development of young choristers very seriously. Many of the choristers are studying music at institutions such as the University of Cape Town, Hartford University (USA), Pretoria Tech
nikon and others are undergoing professional instruction under the auspices of the Black Tie Ensemble.

The choir has a membership of 96 choristers, is opened to all races and is not prejudiced due to religious, cultural or political associations.

The Johannesburg Festival Orchestra made its debut in concert with Julian Lloyd-Webber, at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, in 1998. The musicians were all key members of the National Symphony Orchestra, the State Theatre Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra, all of which had been recently disbanded.

This orchestra is unique in the South African context, because of its versatility. In any given week, the musicians can be called upon to play school concerts in Soweto, while at the same time rehearsing for big outdoor pops concerts, or performing with overseas artists, which have included such famous names as Pavarotti, Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Lord Yehudi Menuhim, the Three Tenors, Il Divo and even Kanye West.