President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly courting Andrea Bocelli to perform at his inauguration.
The wildly popular Italian tenor, who is in New York City for a performance at Madison Square Garden, will meet with Trump on Friday, reports Page Six.
“Trump has a long-standing relationship with Bocelli, and wants to ask him in person to perform. The plan is to have acts at the inauguration that are meaningful for Trump, and he’s a huge fan of Bocelli," a source told Page Six.
The long-standing relationship includes an event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in 2010, and a 2011 concert by Bocelli in Central Park which the Trump family attended.
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The inaugural events are being handled by Trump’s billionaire friend Tom Barrack, who is working with “Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett in putting together the lineup of entertainment.
“They are keeping their cards very close to their chests… One thing is for sure, you won’t see Beyonce lip-syncing again this year” the source said, referring to President Obama’s 2013 inauguration.
As for Bocelli, despite releasing best-selling classical albums, and having performed with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic, he gets “no respect from the classical establishment,” notes WQXR, the nation’s oldest classical radio station.
The New York Times critic Bernard Holland has written that Bocelli has "poor phrasing, uneven tone and lack of technique." Reviewing one particular performance, Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun wrote: “Bocelli's most loyal fans presumably didn't mind any of the weaknesses, but, frankly, I found most of his singing embarrassing."