Dearest Friends,

here we are once again to consider the current status of our dreams. Dreams that unite us and aspire, tenaciously and confidently, so that they can become reality. The use of the verb consider – “considerare” in Italian – is no coincidence, as in both English and Italian it has noble connotations that I believe to be compelling, carrying with it the concept of being together, (“con”, meaning “with” in English), which is ABF’s strength, and none other than the stars ( “sidera” is Latin for “stars”).

And from a starry September sky, we are pleased to consider those Ali di Libertà – the wings of freedom – that helped our shared dream of a new project take off and raised it up towards increasingly ambitious goals which, once again, aspires to make tangible the guidelines summarized in the Foundation’s mission: Empowering people and communities.

Ali di libertà provided the title for the 14th edition of the Teatro del Silenzio, in Lajatico, on July 25 and 29, raising it up to new heights: a show that coincided with the new fundraiser for rebuilding the Camerino Music Academy.

This SMS solidarity campaign was extremely successful and was able to move the hearts and minds of many men and women of goodwill in recent days and still today, thanks to the recent broadcasting of the concert on the main Italian television channel.

Someone once said that the soul has been given special ears to listen to things that the mind cannot comprehend. In this regard, music can act as a vast and privileged library for the soul, and ABF’s work, for me as well as for many friends who support our social challenges, is a gym where the soul reinforces what it has virtuously learned, also through art (and the art of sound).

Camerino has been devoted to art and the art of learning for many centuries. Camerino is a wounded pearl. It is a university town that has written glorious pages in the history books throughout the 700 years it has been an educational hub, yet which the 2016 tragic earthquake brought to its knees.

Once of the many buildings that was destroyed included the music academy located in the historic center of the town. After the schools built in Haiti and after those we have recently inaugurated, first in Sarnano and then in Muccia, today ABF’s challenge is to give Camerino back its musical home. This is an ambitious piece of an integrated philanthropic project that conveys with increasing clarity its musical vocation, precisely because we strongly believe in this language of fellowship, harmony and dialog.

In the very same Marche region that was hit by the earthquake, after the “Leopardi” school in Sarnano, which was recently promoted at an institutional level to a middle school with a musical curricula, and the “De Amicis” pre-school and elementary school in Muccia, designed to offer education that gives substantial importance to art (and the art of music in particular), we are preparing ourselves to rebuild the historic seat of the local music school in Camerino. This is a building, which once rebuilt, will also become a campus of the “G.B. Pergolesi” State Music Conservatory in Fermo, an Institute of Higher Education.

The eight young musicians who I had the honor of hosting in July, on the stage of the great show in Lajatico, come from Camerino. This was an edition that fell on a special year: indeed, right in the very title “Ali di libertà” – Wings of Freedom – (and the giant steel sculpture, created by Daniele Basso, which overlooked the stage) lay the desire to celebrate the human ambition to take flight and thus reach the sky, on the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. Leonardo da Vinci, the creator of the first project for a flying machine, the genius who, with his art and staggering inventions and insights, gave the earth the legacy of the Renaissance, a watershed moment that opened the way to the modern age, redefining the meaning of culture, music and art in general.

Once again this year, on the stage of the Teatro del Silenzio, we were able to count on formidable colleagues, famous artists who are highly regarded the world over. Yet, without detracting from their precious presence in any way, I’ll go on the record here and say that I preferred that band of young musicians from the Marche region: students from Camerino who accompanied me with their instruments in a piece that is near and dear to my heart for many reasons, “Fall on me”.

The presence of the music academy students was both symbolic and concrete, as it is emblematic of ABF’s identity (creating opportunities for growth, and supporting, encouraging and enhancing talent) and of a promise of which I perceive the pleasant weight. Thanks to all of you, once again the challenge will be to help restore the future to a community, by focusing on education and art. And I thank all of you, for being alongside us once again, in this additional challenge to “accomplish something”.

In bidding you farewell, I note that the SMS solidarity campaign for Camerino, which was launched on the Ali di Libertà of Lajatico, will come to its close right at the same time as a private anniversary that I usually do not like to mention or even observe… My birthday.

However, if this fortuitous circumstance becomes a spark, to ignite the donations to the ABF cause, well, I will celebrate it as the best gift I could have possibly received.


Andrea Bocelli