Andrea Bocelli on touring: 'Speaking is the enemy of singing'

6 November 2014, 08:27 | Updated: 6 November 2014, 09:14

The biggest-selling solo classical artist of all time puts himself through a rigorous routine – including keeping quiet – before live shows.

Ahead of his three-date concert tour of the UK, the superstar Italian tenor says his preparation is similar to that of an athlete.

"It's important to rest, to be in good shape, to eat lightly, and don't drink and don't smoke of course," says Bocelli.

"Another very important thing is the silence," he tells Classic FM’s Charlotte Green on this week’s edition of Culture Club, to be broadcast on Sunday 9 November at 3pm. 

"Basically I stay all the day, quiet in my room. In Italian there is an expression. We say, 'Speaking is the enemy of singing.'"

An equally important part of the singer’s regime is taking time out to read, ride his horse, and host dinner parties.

"I like to organise dinner for my friends because I am always around the world and when I am at home I like to stay with them and I try to spend lots of time with my family," Bocelli tells Charlotte Green.

Exclusive: Behind the scenes in Bocelli's Italian family home>

The tenor's eagerly anticipated concerts, which happen in Liverpool (18 November), London (20th) and Birmingham (21st), include guest appearances from Britain’s Got Talent finalist Lucy Kay and American violinist and YouTube sensation, Lindsey Stirling.

Another unique feature of the tour has been a competition to find local choirs in each city to join him on stage for songs by Cesar Franck and Franz Schubert.

"Every choir, it’s a different style, its a different sound," says Bocelli, "so it's interesting."

It's all part of Bocelli's commitment to reaching younger audiences.

"If children can listen to opera they like it very, very much," he says. "The problem is there are not opportunities for children so it would be very important to speak about this kind of music in the school and then to bring the children to the theatre often."