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Disney's A Christmas Carol - Andrea Bocelli interview

Andrea Bocelli

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ANDREA Bocelli talks about contributing to the soundtrack of Disney’s A Christmas Carol and why it was a dream come true. He also delivers his verdict on why movies offer composers and musicians more creativity when it comes to songwriting.

Q. How did you become involved in A Christmas Carol?
Andrea Bocelli: Well for me it was really a very exciting invitation and opportunity because I’ve actually always dreamed of being able to lend my voice to a film. Obviously, I would never have imagined being able to sing for a film of this importance and this size, but as we say in Italian and English too: “Never say never!” And, of course, dreams can come true. We also have a tradition in our fairly recent past because very important singers have sung a lot. So, I got involved with great enthusiasm and with the same kind of enthusiasm that many, many children – including my own – will look forward to this film. I’m really very honoured and thank everyone very much for this opportunity.

Q. Why does music have such emotional power – in that it can make us laugh and cry in the same instant?
Andrea Bocelli: The power of music is something that’s been well recognised for some time… man has known about it for a long time. Recently, it has been discovered that music also has a very important therapeutic power as well. But I think that film music is special because it offers a bigger possibility to contemporary musicians. In comparison, pop music has got a little bit stuck. It’s become somewhat formulaic with the sequences of two bars and a refrain and two bars… music for film is much more open and it allows the musician 360 degrees of freedom to touch people’s hearts.

Q. What did Dickens’ original story mean to you when growing up?
Andrea Bocelli: Well, I think it’s a very beautiful story and it’s a story that speaks principally to the hearts of children who are preparing to become grown-ups and adults. It explains those values that are necessary in order to achieve that. These are values that are conveyed in a language which is simple, clear and very moving.

Q. What are your own personal favourite Christmas songs?
Andrea Bocelli: Well, on my Christmas record [My Christmas] I have the pleasure of singing all the Christmas songs that have been part of my childhood and my life. But another great pleasure was the discovery of new ones that I didn’t know, which I’ve added and which gave me something like a new face to Christmas. And something that might have perhaps been missing from such a record would have been a brand new song, but thanks to this film we now have one. It’s completed the album.

Q. What does Christmas mean to you?
Andrea Bocelli: Christmas Day is the day when the best of each of us comes out. So, for me Christmas has always been the best day of the year for me since I was a child.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol is released in cinemas on November 6. Andrea Bocelli’s My Christmas is released on November 30, 2009.