Charice’s answered prayer

by Carmie O. Carpio/AJPress
IT’S not all the time that someone gets to sing on stage with a celebrated operatic pop tenor and classical crossover singer as Andrea Bocelli, especially on his birthday concert. But on the night of July 20, Sunday, a young Filipina with a big voice and a big heart stepped into the stagelights with Bocelli himself. Charice, the first from her homeland to perform a duet with the world-famous Bocelli, who is turning 50 on September 22, effortlessly dazzled the European crowd that filled the Teatro del Silenzio (Theater of Silence) in Tuscany, Italy, Bocelli’s hometown.
Dubbed The Cinema Tribute, Chariced joined international performers Nicolla Piovani, Roberto Bolle and Noa in the line-up.

Spellbinding is not enough to describe the moment Charice and Bocelli sang The Prayer together. Bocelli’s countrymen were so impressed with the harmonious blend of two powerful voices that a round of applause wasn’t enough. They felt they had to do a standing ovation as well.

Apart from The Prayer, she rendered a solo performance in front of Bocelli’s friends and countrymen‹a medley of The Bodyguard soundtracks which she also sang at the star-studded ³ David Foster and Friends² in Mandalay in Las Vegas only last May. Bocelli was also part of that lustrous affair.

From the outside, it seemed that Charice’s renditions were confident and collected. But unknown to many, the young girl was brimming with excitement and delight deep down. The duet was one unforgettable moment for Charice, something that she will never forget in her lifetime.

“Very special po sa akin itong concert kasi si Mr. Andrea Bocelli ang first big star na nakaduet ko. Pinangarap ko po talaga ito so dream come true talaga. Tsaka favorite ko rin yung song na kinanta namin. Matagal ko po itong hinintay, and proud po ako bilang the first Filipino na nakaduet siya,” she told the Asian Journal in a long-distance interview.

Charice reportedly drew pictures of herself performing with Bocelli when she was younger. Thus, after her dream-come-true concert, the young diva could barely contain her joy in sharing how it went.

“Sa lahat ng nagperform, ako lang po ang may standing ovation.” There was a hint of giddiness in her voice.

And even though she faced yet another type of audience, she was very pleased with their profuse praises over her performance.

“They (Italians) gave me a warm welcome, tsaka nakita kong inaappreciate nila ang talent ng mga Pinoy,” Charice added.

How Charice landed in another performance with a big international star was not a stroke of luck. It was something that was bound to happen.

During the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas event, Bocelli had just finished his performance at the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas event, and was in his dressing room, when he heard Charice sing.  Bocelli asked his assistants to bring him backstage, so he could be among the first ones to congratulate Charice.  After he told Charice  how moved he was by her performance, Atty. Gurfinkel (who secured Charice’s working visa for the US show) said to Bocelli, “It would be nice if you could  do a duet of The Prayer together.” Bocelli welcomed the idea. Bocelli’s manager handed over his business card to Gurfinkel, asking that he be contacted to discuss details. and voila! Charice was invited to Tuscany , to be the first Filipino to ever sing with Bocelli.

And the rest is history

With Charice, it is easy to expect more world-class performances and more“pinch-me” moments. for herself. The Filipina wunderkind sure knows how to make her prayers and dreams come true, and there’s no stopping her. The best thing, through all her experiences, is that she’s always proud to say that she’s Filipino.  Her kababayans are equally proud of her as well. (

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