Bocelli won’t be singing at Trump inauguration

York Dispatch

The list of stars who will not be singing at Donald Trump’s inauguration grew on Tuesday, when officials confirmed that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who had been rumored to perform, would not be appearing after all.

There had been a certain logic to the idea that Bocelli might sing at the inauguration next month of Trump, who is known to be a fan of his. Like the president-elect, Bocelli was dismissed by many elite critics but has still managed to gain a large following through a combination of popular appeal, media savvy and a knack for drawing crowds. His crossover mix of classical and pop has helped him sell more than 80 million recordings and sell out large arenas.

The New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, reported Tuesday that Bocelli had decided not to perform because he feared a backlash from opponents of Trump and his policies. The chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., said in an interview on CNBC that it was Bocelli who had originally made a tentative offer to sing and Trump who had declined.

In this file photo, Andrea Bocelli sings as Tony Bennett looks on during a concert in Central Park, Sept. 15, 2011. (Richard Perry/The New York Times)

“The Bocellis came to him and said, ‘Look, if it would be helpful to you, if you would like us to perform, we would consider it,'” said Barrack, who noted that Trump had once let Bocelli use one of his airplanes. “And Donald said: ‘You don’t need to. We’re not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You’re my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.'”

A representative of Bocelli did not reply to emails seeking comment.

Donald Trump attends an Andrea Bocelli concert with, from left: Ivana Trump, his first wife; his wife Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump, at Central Park in New York, Sept. 15, 2011. Though reports differed on who turned down whom, Bocelli will not be performing at the president-electÕs inauguration in January 2016. 
(Tina Fineberg/The New York Times)

Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old singer who became famous after appearing on “America’s Got Talent,” announced last week that she would sing the national anthem at the inauguration.

Bocelli is not the only star who has been floated as a possible performer, only to have nothing come of it. Last month, Elton John made it clear that he would not perform, after a member of Trump’s transition team had suggested he would.

And over the summer, the widow and daughters of an even more famous Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, asked the Trump campaign to stop using his recording of Puccini’s aria “Nessun Dorma,” saying that “the values of brotherhood and solidarity which Luciano Pavarotti expressed throughout the course of his artistic career are entirely incompatible with the worldview offered by the candidate Donald Trump.”