Maestro Bocelli, can you tell us why you have chosen to work on a project of this kind?
I consider it a great privilege, but also a duty, for each of us, to be vibrant, active and joyful witnesses of the Christian message, and to spread it as much as possible, through our example, while offering the possibility to share it. I think that music is potentially a powerful tool for faith, just like every fruit of human ingenuity. The voice of the spirit moves on paths that penetrate the most intimate spheres of our psyche, without being affected by its conditions. Leibniz described music as an "occult arithmetic exercise of the soul, unconscious of its counting." And, before the German philosopher, Aristotle noted the potential to "change the character of the soul." Now, I think that good music brings with it a strong message of peace and brotherhood, with the capacity to educate us to beauty, and open our hearts and minds.
Interpreting sacred repertoire, as well as listening to it, can—in my view—be an intense form of prayer. And this potential finds a valuable opportunity for full expression, flowering, when the audition is accompanied and elevated by moments of reflection, proposed by priests, ministers of divine mercy, pastors of God's family.
Why does Andrea Bocelli sing for the family?
The family is the main building block of society, but it is also—for us believers—the indispensable tool for edifying the People of God. I strongly believe in the institution and in the values it conveys. I live every day, under my skin, the crucial importance, on a personal level and in civil society. The family, enshrined in the sacrament of marriage, gives completeness and meaning to existence, especially when repeats the miracle of life through offspring. Children, who should always be the first reason of the parents’ life, the first priority, have precedence over every other affection and commitment.
I like to evoke a pertinent word that is also musical, which is the essential element for a peaceful life in the family: "harmony." Harmony, built on a daily basis, by choosing—in every action—the option that goes towards good and trying to put into practice the values that, in my case, my parents taught me and that I try to tansmit to my children.
Singing the family in a church and "in the Church"?
Of course the family can be evoked, encouraged and supported everywhere as the irreplaceable emotional training ground, an institution that is crucial for the expression and transmission of Christian values. The Church, nevethless, remains the place par excellence, because it is the house of God and the sweetest haven for our souls, who recognize one another there, bound in brotherhood through prayer. It is in the Church (and then through the teachings of the One who has inspired it), that we can explore together and better understand the extraordinary power of love between man and woman, and consequently within the family. Not without reason has the Second Vatican Council called the family "Ecclesia domestica".