Duetto

The fact that this is such a calculated project, one obviously designed to tap into the fan base of crossover tenor superstar Andrea Bocelli, wouldn't necessarily have doomed it to disposable kitsch s

The fact that this is such a calculated project, one obviously designed to tap into the fan base of crossover tenor superstar Andrea Bocelli, wouldn't necessarily have doomed it to disposable kitsch status. But the album's generic, "lite FM" production and grossly saccharine material do just that. Argentine Marcelo Alvarez and Italian Salvatore Licitra—two of the opera world's up-and-coming tenors—are hampered by new Italian-language pop ballads and tasteless takeoffs on famous classical tunes, outfitted with mawkish lyrics; the worst is "Viaggio," a mugging of Fauré's lovely "Pavane," complete with a "contemporary" rhythm track ideal and a grafted-on, Celine Dion-type fortissimo ending. The singers have the true, Italianate voices loved the world over, and the recent PBS showing of their Roman Colosseum concert no doubt turned some heads. Too bad that they couldn't have been given something more worthy to sing.—BB