After Jackie Evancho was announced as a performer at Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, rumors swirled that esteemed Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli might be joining her at the event. Though the two made for a fitting and classically sounding pair — many people were unhappy about Bocelli’s potential involvement.
On social media, #BoycottBocelli spread like wildfire. The mere mention of such a respectable artist as Bocelli performing for the future president had fans up in arms. It’s a strange notion — singing at an inauguration does not equal an endorsement of a politician or that politician’s beliefs, though perhaps it is assumed or implied.
However, according to recent reports, Bocelli is no longer involved with a potential performance at the inauguration. A source recently told the New York Post the singer was “getting too much heat” and has turned down the opportunity.
This came after Jackie Evancho’s mother revealed to TMZ that Bocelli was planning on performing a duet with her daughter at the event.
Inaugural Committee Chairman Tom Barrack tried to clear up rumors by telling CNBC it was not Bocelli who backed out; it was the president-elect who stepped up and ended the arrangement after Bocelli offered to perform.
“Donald said, ‘You don’t need to. We’re not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You’re my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.'”
Whatever precise actions led to Bocelli’s “unperformance” at the inauguration — none of it excuses the bullying of an artist from an angry Left.
Many people may not be ready or willing to accept it, but Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States. There are plenty of people mature enough to accept that reality and work within it — rather than against it.
Performing for a president and at an inauguration is a great honor for any performer. Past performers like Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin didn’t deserve bullying for their performing for President Obama, so why should any artist deserve such treatment for being a part of the inauguration for the next president?
“Surely Andrea Bocelli isn’t considering performing for Trump’s inauguration? If so then #BoycottBocelli is on!” tweeted @TallyAnnaE regarding the potential performance.
“Yes! Boycotts get results. Bocelli is smart not to violate the artists’ boycott and sing for a treasonous nazi. How about @jackieevancho?” tweeted @SheWhoVotes after learning of Bocelli’s non-involvement with the inauguration.
Is this how the next four years are going to be? Artists who even show an inkling of willingness to work with President Trump will be bullied into submitting to the will of extremists who refuse to accept America’s election results?
It’s a despicable way to behave and incredibly anti-art to believe that artists should not present their work to all audiences — even people with whom they may disagree.
Evancho, at just 16 years old, is showing no signs of buckling to any sort of pressure, meanwhile. The youngest artist to ever have an album go platinum told People magazine recently that she and her family have been the target of hate and harassment since the inauguration announcement. “My family is kind of a big target. I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes toward us, but I also get a lot of love. So, we pay most attention to that. Sometimes we get really annoyed with the hate. Everyone does. We have to admit it but we just ignore it.”
The young singer may be dealing with backlash — but admirably, she has no plans on letting others silence her spreading her artistic voice. She told People about performing at the inauguration, “I feel like it’s going to be a big audience and I love big audiences.”