Bocelli stars as Canio on the Decca Classics disc, with soprano Ana Mar‹a Mart‹nez as Nedda; Steven Mercurio conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania, Sicily.
A Decca recording of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana starring Bocelli is scheduled for release in early 2007.
While there were no other newcomers to the Billboard classical chart, three issues from earlier in the year returned to the chart as the Christmas shopping season got into full swing: pianist Leif Ove Andsnes's Horizons (no. 21), the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Philharmonic (no. 23), and The Journey by pianist Leon Fleisher (no. 24).
Sting's Songs From the Labyrinth (of songs by John Dowland), Paul McCartney's oratorio Ecce Cor Meum, and Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin remained in the top three slots, with two releases by crossover violinist Andr_ Rieu, Christmas Around the World and The Homecoming!, at nos. 4 and 5. Soprano Ren_e Fleming's Homage: The Age of the Diva rose two spots to no. 6, while Anonymous 4's Gloryland slipped one notch to no. 7.
On the Billboard classical crossover chart, Siempre, the latest disc by the all-male quasi-opera group Il Divo, debuted at no. 2. (Two of the foursome's three previous discs, Il Divo and Ancora, are at nos. 5 and 6.) Also entering the crossover chart, at no. 21, is Christmastime Is Here by conductor Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. Josh Groban's Awake remains at no. 1 for the third straight week; two discs by Bocelli, Under the Desert Sky and Amore, slipped one slot each to nos. 3 and 4, while the tenor's Latino-oriented disc Amor is at no. 11.