Pop-opera superstar Andrea Bocelli has just launched his annual holiday tour of the United States. It's making a stop Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Bocelli started out as a pop singer with classical influences but moved more toward a classical repertoire as his career progressed. His popularity has been buoyed by frequent appearances on PBS stations during pledge drives.
He's wildly popular with fans, but generally not so revered by critics or true opera aficionados, who often claim he has limited vocal range and depends on amplification and reverb.
But he sells out concert halls and sells millions of albums all over the world, so chances are Bocelli and his fans are none too concerned about what critics and connoisseurs find lacking in his performances.
His current tour comes in support of his recent release "Passione," which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, and a new PBS television special called "Love in Portofino." The album is a collection of Mediterranean love songs featuring duets with global pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado and the late Edith Piaf.
Joining Bocelli for the Tampa concert are conductor Eugene Kohn, soprano Svetla Vassileva and guest vocalist Heather Headley.
Details: 8 p.m. Dec. 14, Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets: $75, $125, $195, $275, $350. Information: 813-301-2500, www.tampabaytimesforum.com.
-- Marty Clear