Legendary operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli has released a new Christmas album in which he sings each song alongside his son, Matteo, and daughter, Virginia. Titled A Family Christmas, this new holiday work features some of the Bocelli family’s favorites, as well as a few brand new Christmas songs, including “The Greatest Gift.”
We have long wondered if Matteo Bocelli had inherited his father’s incredible singing voice and now we can clearly hear that he has. While Matteo, 24, is not quite as mature as his father, he carries much of the same timbre. His voice is a little more poppy than Andrea’s, but the male voice also doesn’t hit peak operatic performance until the mid-30s. If Andrea is still singing in another 10 years, then we expect they would put on a tremendous rendition of the Pearl Fishers duet.
On the other side, Virginia, Andrea’s 10-year-old daughter, brings a fanciful innocence to the whole project. While she’s still just a child, she displays an aptitude at musical performance that should make her father proud. She is always on pitch and takes up the harmonies with a natural attention to blending her own voice with her brother and father. Her solo performance on “Away in the Manger” was equally impressive, especially for one so young.
This year, the Bocelli family is giving everyone a gift with new additions to the Christmas songbook, like “The Greatest Gift,” featured above. Performed in English, the tune is practically brimming with sentimental bombast. Matteo and Virginia do an excellent job on the track, but the shining moment is when Andrea sustains a high note for 10 seconds towards the thrilling conclusion.
While we enjoyed “The Greatest Gift,” we felt it was overshadowed by another original track, “Il Giorno Più Speciale.” Sung in Italian, this feels way more personal than the other songs on the album. While there is some orchestral arrangement, the piece is mostly driven by Andrea at the piano and the family singing together. It almost feels like an impromptu family sing-along on Christmas eve, and their harmonies on this track may be the best on the album.
Andrea, Matteo, and Virginia are taking the album on a tour through the US from December 1-18. Visit Bocelli’s official website to learn more.