Gig Review: Andrea Bocelli, CARisMA & Laura Wright - iTunes Festival ✭✭✭✭

iTunes Festival  
Andrea Bocelli, CARisMA & Laura Wright

Roundhouse, Camden – London

Tuesday 18th September: The iTunes Festival is being held once again at The Roundhouse in Camden, an incredible 30 day festival; allowing people to win tickets and see some amazing acts, for free.

This evening was celebrating the talent that is in the classical world, with Andrea Bocelli, the biggest selling living artist in classical music and one of classical music’s most beloved tenors.

Supporting Andrea Bocelli, CARisMa, two classical guitarists; Magdalena Kaltcheva and Carlo Corrieri, jaw-dropping dexterity and melody combine in this pair’s music, which touches on classical pieces, jazz standards and soundtrack pieces.

Also supporting was the beautiful soprano Laura Wright, who has been winning awards for her vocal skills since she was a teenager.

So first to take the stage at the beautiful venue of The Roundhouse, was Laura Wright. Looking absolutely stunning in a red dress, the Suffolk-born soprano took the stage, starting the night off with the song ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, which was followed by the well-known ‘Chariots Of Fire’. ‘White Cliffs of Dover’, which is taken from her latest album Glorious, a classic English song, sung beautifully of course. “A song that will make you think of a lion cub” Laura says before singing the stunning and memorising ‘Born Free’, Laura had a way of taking you to a different place, somewhere hot.

‘The Rose’ taken also from the album Glorious, originally a pop song by Bette Midler, it has been covered by Westlife, however Laura’s version was a beautiful version; complimented with classical guitar and orchestra, a very emotional song, once again this song was performed beautifully. Possibly one of my favourite songs of the set, ‘Ave Maria – Caccini’, I was in awe of how perfect Laura sang this song, the emotion in her voice, the range, it was just flawless, Laura has not recorded the song, but personally I think she should.

‘The Last Rose of Summer’, which was in Laura’s debut album The Last Rose, Laura treated to us to an acoustic version of this song. The final song performed by Laura was taken from the album Glorious. ‘Stronger As One’ which was officially the anthem for the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the song has a mix of the commonwealth, it’s an inspiring song, definitely had goose bumps.

Next to the stage was CARisMA a crossover guitar duo, a beautiful set of guitar pieces, showcasing some incredible talent. The duo played most pieces from their album Confessions. Some of the pieces included tracks from the movie Chocolat, which included; ‘Vianne sets up shop’, ‘Other Possibilities’ and the ‘Opening Titles’. They performed ‘Questa Notte’, composed by L. Einuadi, and changed to by the pair to be performed on guitar. They changed it up to perform some Brazilian songs, and even added a Fleetwood Mac song ‘Don’t Stop’. A very calming performance.

The crowd were clearly waiting in anticipation for the arrival of Andrea Bocelli and there was no doubt as to why they were keen for this outstanding tenor to grace the stage. Introducing each song on the night was Myleene Klass, clearly she could not control her excitement about who should be introducing. Myleene Klass provided most of the talking on the night; Andrea Bocelli kept his talking to a minimum, with the exception of his opening speech. "Thank you for being here," he said. "As you know, I am Italian, and I arrived from Italy just now, and for this reason I would like to begin this very special concert with a most famous Italian song.” The song was ‘O Sole Mio’, described as Myleene as an alternative national anthem.

The programme for the night included some classical favourites, ‘Amazing Grace’, Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ and the absolutely beautiful 'Pour mon âme, quel destin!' from Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment. Andre Bocelli was joined on stage by a full choir and the British Philharmonic Orchestra. This added to the ambience, the acoustics in the Roundhouse are just incredible, every sound filled the room.

As people were drinking the pints and enjoying the music, Andrea Bocelli performed the ‘drinking song’, 'Libiamo ne' lieti calici' from Verdi 's La Traviata, and was joined on stage for duets with Gianfranco Montresor and Sabina Cvilak.

He ended the night with the chart topping and impressive ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ and ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Turandot. This songs were absolutely amazing and you can see exactly why 63 countries tuned in to watch this man live. After a long applause from the audience, Andrea Bocelli treated the audience to an impromptu encore, by singing a little bit more from the outstanding ‘Nessun Dorma’.

You can watch performances from all the acts on iTunes for up to the 30 days after their performances. Definitely worth listening to, was a night filled with an abundance of talent, from singing to playing the guitar.

4 stars out of 5 ✭✭✭✭

Review by Christina Benneworth