Theatre of silence

Andrea Bocelli’s Teatro del Silenzio only hosts one concert a year; every other day, the open-air theatre is silent.

Giants in the Theatre of Silence
Chiara.marraccini, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Andrea Bocelli was born in a small village just outside Lajatico in Italy in 1958. He was born with glaucoma, and lost his sight completely after being hit in the face with a football when he was twelve. But from a very young age it was also apparent that he was a prodigious musical talent. Today he is probably the most famous opera singer in the world, and he gave back to the town from which he came in a novel way: the Theatre of Silence.

Andrea Bocelli
Jakub Janecki, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Teatro del Silenzio is a large amphitheatre – no roof, essentially just a pile of big rocks arranged in a circle at the top of a big hill. Each year, usually some time in July, the theatre comes to life. The venue is decorated with impressive sculptures like the giants from 2013 pictured above. Seating for thousands (initially 5,000, later doubled to 10,000) is installed. Famous guests like Plácido Domingo or José Carreras join Bocelli on stage.

And, usually, that’s it for the year. The Theatre of Silence is unique in that it only ever hosts this one annual concert. For the rest of the year it follows its name and is silent – a tourist attraction but not a performance venue. Bocelli has appeared here every year since 2006, and I expect that he will continue to do so until he cannot sing any more.

You can see the details of each year in the third link below, or watch an early performance here:

Traditionally, Bocelli closes each concert with his signature song, “Con te partirò” (“Time to Say Goodbye”). Beautiful.

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