You’ve travelled across the world as an artist- is there a particular place you find yourself drawn to, or where you have special memories?
Andrea: My artistic career is something of a fairy tale. In just a few years I have had the most exciting and incredible experiences that an artist could possibly imagine or hope for.
I can’t forget that I have sung before two Popes, and in the most extraordinary places such as the pyramids in Egypt, the twin towers before the terrible 9/11, in the splendid square of the Hermitage in St Petersburg. And I have had the privilege of hearing the most important voices in the world close up. For one who is as passionate about voices as I am, this has been one of the best gifts life has brought me.
Which award means the most to you?
Andrea: For me, awards have a great value when they truly represent the affection and esteem of the public. Generally this is the case, but there are some instances when a prize is awarded only to ensure the presence of an artist at a given event; others are simply awarded because some influential person has decided it should be, and so the prize is of little importance. And then a prize is important when you feel that you have deserved it, and this is something that doesn’t happen often.
You play several instruments. Which is your favourite?
Andrea: Without doubt, the instrument I love most is the piano, which I have studied with great passion ever since I was a child. I love all musical instruments in general, but it is necessary to know something very well to be sure that you really love it.
For you, is Italian the language of opera? Do you think it works as well in Russian or German?
Andrea: Opera originated in Italy and as an Italian who loves his country and opera, I feel that Italian is the best language for it. However, I don’t believe I can be sufficiently objective in my view to make an impartial judgment. I am extremely fond of French opera, and I know that a great many people are wild about German or Russian opera; and anyway I do not believe that I hold the key to any absolute truth as it probably doesn’t exist, especially where art is concerned.
You’re one of the biggest-selling singers ever- what do you think is the key to your success?
Andrea: I don’t believe there are key moments; instead there is passion, determination, predisposition, the receptivity of the audience. What counts is to be the right man at the right time. The voice is an instrument like the others, with the difference of being made of flesh and blood. This means that it requires application and daily practice. A couple of hours of vocalisation every day are absolutely essential. Then you have to spend the time it takes to study the repertoire. And you must not forget to take care of the way you live every day; basically in the same way as is required of any athlete in any field. There is plenty to do, but it is always a pleasure if it is fuelled by passion.
Do you have anything left that you’d like to achieve?
Andrea: Love has exceeded every dream. This is not a time to dream. It is instead a time to carry out many more projects, and above all to leave good memory to posterity of myself as a man, even more than as an artist.
Is there anyone else you would like to collaborate with?
Andrea: I love to sing with other singers, to share the pleasure and the responsibility of a performance. I have had the good fortune of singing with some of the finest voices in the world, but one’s love for singing and fascination with the voice is never exhausted, and the world is full of artists with wonderful voices.
What are you looking forward to?
Andrea: The answer to this question depends on the season when you ask it. Right now I can’t wait for summer to come so I can go and swim out in the open sea, but in the summer I can’t wait for winter to return so that I can light a fire.
FAULT: What is your FAULT?
Andrea: My main regret is that I acknowledge that I am a man without virtues, who strives to pursue these virtues with all my energy but that this is too feeble to be able to attain them