Tenor Andrea Bocelli and his wife Veronica on their musical relationship

Andrea Bocelli

I have always been lucky in life and I have always had love throughout it.

HIS STORY Andrea Bocelli, 56, opera singer

Veronica and I met at a party 12 years ago, and I was struck by her voice and how her skin felt. I sang my first aria for her that night. It was a piece called Occhi Di Fata (Fairy’s Eyes). Everybody was there; it was a really wonderful moment between us. It was the quickest, speediest start, because we moved in with each other that same night. Effectively the marriage began when we met.

A successful relationship between two people is an art. There is a natural foundation to it. It is chemistry at play. There has to be a fatal attraction or boredom takes over, but the art lies in preserving this chemical fatal attraction and keeping it alive. I think the 25-year age gap has made it easier, not harder. Big age gaps are a tradition in my family – my own father and mother have one. Plus, I am very religious, and age difference is something you see a lot in biblical marriages.

Music has always played a very important role in our relationship. Veronica loves the same kind of music I do, so listening and discussing music together is something we do a lot. She’s been like a mother to my two boys, and she has done a wonderful job of establishing a good relationship with my first wife, too. In fact just last night we were all together at a big party for my son’s birthday.

We have never had a fight, but we have argued. In this life we learn a lot from our mistakes, and I certainly have learned from the mistakes in my first marriage. The second is working very well indeed.

HER STORY Veronica Bocelli, 30, music manager

I was 18 and meant to be going somewhere else that night. Everyone was late because of bad weather, so I sat by the piano in an empty room. Andrea sent a friend to ask me to come to his table. We talked about music and where I was born. I used the formal “you” instead of the friendly “you”, and he kept saying to everyone: “Why is she speaking to me like that? We are almost the same age.” I did it out of respect. I had an exam coming up, so I had to go, but he didn’t want me to. “Stay,” he said. “Don’t lose the energy. Don’t lose the moment. Love is something you don’t think about.” So I stayed. He is an intelligent man and teaches me so much. He likes to challenge himself in everything he does. As soon as you say: “You can’t do that” he does it.

I got so used to not being married that it was strange when we finally did. We used to call each other “companion”, but that sounded too everyday. Wife is forever.

Andrea is terrible to fight with. He stays calm when I’m angry. He is the kind of person who forgives thousands of mistakes, but when you cross the line, that’s it. He hasn’t changed – the friends he had when he was 18 are the same friends who come over every week.

We have a two-year-old together, but it feels like we have three children. The boys are 19 and 17 and don’t need us as much as when they were younger. But I cannot tell them enough: I’m always there if they need me. We’re all family.

Andrea Bocelli’s UK and Ireland tour runs from 14-21 November (andreabocelli.com)

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Katie Burnetts, for The Observer on Sunday 2nd November 2014 06.00 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010