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"Con te partirò" (literally meaning "With you I will leave") is an Italian Classical Crossover song written by Francesco Sartori (music) and Lucio Quarantotto (lyrics). It was first sung by Andrea Bocelli at the 1995 San Remo Festival and recorded on his album of the same year, Bocelli, and is considered Bocelli's signature song. The song achieved widespread success with a second version sung partly in English, pairing Bocelli with soprano Sarah Brightman, released as "Time to Say Goodbye". It is Bocelli's first #1 hit under both versions.


The song's original single release by Polydor Records was not commercially successful in Italy, and received little radio airplay there. Elsewhere, however, it was a massive hit. In France and Switzerland, the single topped the charts for 6 weeks, earning a triple Gold sales award. In Belgium, it became the biggest hit of all time, spending 12 weeks at No. 1.

In Germany, East West Records, in conjunction with Polydor, marketed a version of "Con Te Partiro", retitled "Time to Say Goodbye", and with some lyrics changes, as the theme song for the final match of boxer Henry Maske (then the light-heavyweight champion of the International Boxing Federation), having seen previous success when Vangelis's "Conquest of Paradise" was also promoted via Maske's fights. "Time to Say Goodbye" was also turned into a duet with Sarah Brightman, who had performed "A Question of Honour" for one of Maske's previous fights. German producer Frank Peterson, who has worked with Brightman since 1991, opted to give the song an English title, rather than the German title "Mit Dir Werde Ich Fortgehen". Recording of the song took place at Peterson's Nemo Studio, in Hamburgmarker.

The match took place on November 23, 1996, pitting Maske against American Virgil Hill, and drew a television broadcast audience of over 21 million. Bocelli and Brightman performed the song to open the match, and it was used again during Maske's exit.

By December, the "Time to Say Goodbye" single, released on East West, had reached number one on the German singles chart, with sales estimated at 40000-60000 per day and projected for at least one million by the end of the year. Both singers' respective albums also received a boost in sales. Airplay on German radio stations such as Norddeutscher Rundfunk was well received by listeners. By February of the following year, the single had broken the all-time sales record in Germany with 1.65 million sales, and would eventually reach over 3 million copies sold. It is also the best-selling single in Belgiummarker.

"Time to Say Goodbye" reached number two on the UK Singles Chart upon its release there in May 1997, and was certified gold. It remained in the top 30 for another two months, helped by steady radio airplay on BBC Radio 2, which was overtaking Radio 1 in popularity with an MOR-oriented playlist.

The duet was included on Brightman's 1997 album Timeless, re-titled as Time to Say Goodbye in the U.S. with the song itself moved to the start of the album. Brightman has also recorded a solo version, which was released on the duet single as well as later albums.

A spin-off single to Time to Say Goodbye called Time to Say Hello has been rumoured to be in the works.

Recorded cover versions

Since its release, the song has spawned numerous other versions and been performed by numerous other singers. Notable alternate versions include "Por ti volaré", a Spanish version with significantly modified lyrics, and "I Will Go with You ", a dance remix performed by Donna Summer. In 2001, Journey guitarist Neal Schon released a solo album, Voice, which features an instrumental version of the song. In 2008 Danish pop duo The Loft released their single "Kiss You Goodbye" based on "Con te partirò"/"Time to Say Goodbye" and containing samples from the originals.

Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins recorded a version of the song and included it on her 2004 album Second Nature. Jenkin's version was also released as a single on 21 February 2005.

French star, Gregory Lemarchal recorded a version for his album "La voix d'un ange" which was posthumously released in 2007. It is not considered the best performance but has significant context as Lemarchal died of cystic fibrosis in April 2007 at the age of 23.

New Zealand sensation Hayley Westenra included a version on her 2007 album, "Amazing Grace — The Best of Hayley Westenra".

Swedish singer Sanna Nielsen made a English-Swedish version of the song, which was included in her almun Sanna 11-22

Andre Rieu with Mirusia Louwerse also recorded a version of this song on the album 'You'll never walk alone'. The song as performed in Maastricht, the Netherlands in 2009:

Notable performances and associations

Although the song is most associated with sporting events, it has featured frequently in film and television and is a favourite concert item. It is also a very popular piece for funerals.

Sporting events

"Time to Say Goodbye" has been played or performed at a number of subsequent sporting events:
  • Sung on the eve of Sunday (final day) of the 2008 and 2009 Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament by a local soprano and tenor.
  • Played at the conclusion of the 2000 World Series.
  • Sung live at the Ashes Cricket Test in Sydneymarker in January 2007 by Sean Ruane, to mark the retirements of long-serving Australian players Justin Langer, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.
  • Funeral of Hansie Cronje, the most successful captain of the South African Cricket Team
  • Sung by Maria Lucia at the closing ceremony of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
  • Played at the final Irish rugby and soccer internationals to be held at the current Lansdowne Road before the stadium was demolished.
  • The 2006 Hero's Light-Heavyweight Champion and UFC Fighter, Yoshihiro Akiyama, uses this song as his entrance theme.
  • Used as the outro music at the end of the Tostitos BCS National Championship 2007 game, marking the end of the BCS bowl games on FOX for the year.
  • Some opposing teams would play this song when pitcher Jose Lima would leave the game.
  • Sung by Paul Potts in September 2008 in the 75th minute of former Germany and Bayern Munich Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn's farewell game (Bayern Munich vs Germany).
  • Sung after Carlton Football Club played its last game at Princes Park.
  • Played at the SCG for the farewell of Michael O'Loughlin, Leo Barry and Jared Crouch: Sydney Swans premiership players who retired in 2009.


  • The song is featured in the opening scene of Blades of Glory (2007), in which Jimmy MacElroy skates during his peacock skating routine.
  • The song is played while Katarina Witt is skating during a scene in Ronin.
  • The song is also played when Wesley (James McAvoy) and Fox (Angelina Jolie) assassinate a man in an armored limousine in the film Wanted
  • The climax to Step Brothers features Will Ferrell singing "Por ti Volare", a Spanish-translated version of the song.
  • The song is featured in the movie Little Nicky
  • The song is featured in a 2009 Japanese movie Amalfimarker. Sarah Brightman sings in the movie in a beautiful concert hall in Italy.


Concerts and other uses

  • One of the signature songs of Macedonian superstar Tose Proeski.
  • One of the signature songs of Filipino singer Lani Misalucha.
  • As part of the 2000 program — entitled "Red" - of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps (listed as "Time to say Goodbye"). The corps sang the lyrics (unamplified) in Italian in addition to playing on their respective instruments at various points in the work. With this program, Crusaders achieved their highest placement ever (5th) at the Drum Corps International World Championships.
  • The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps have also played "Time to Say Goodbye" for a number of years as an encore piece and it has become a staple of the corps off-field repertoire.
  • Used in the advertisements by the Bellagio Hotelmarker in Las Vegasmarker during the late 1990s when the hotel opened. It is also played during the Fountains of Bellagio water show in front of the hotel. On many days, the hotel plays it for a fountain show around noon when most guests are checking out. Generally, this song is also the final performance of the evening.
  • The song was used as the theme for the emotional final audio montage for Sydney based Australian talk radio icon John Laws on November 30, 2007. During the playback of memorable calls from listeners, a dance mix of the backing music was played in the background. This collection included calls from several Australian prime ministers, actor Russell Crowe and several other high profile personalities from around the world.
  • The tune is also played in the famous Sentosa show in Singapore — Songs of the Sea .
  • The tune is also played at the funeral of Sir John Compton, a former Prime Minister of St. Lucia
  • The tune was also used in a match between Bayern Munich and Germany. The match was played as a testimony game for Goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn who served as keeper for Bayern for 14 years. The song began playing in the 77th minute of the game as it was then that Oliver Kahn was being substituted out for new no 1 keeper Michael Rensing.
  • The tune was also used for the last sunset of the millennium presentation in Manila Bay, Philippines


Country Certification Date Sales certified
Austria Platinum March 18, 1997 20,000
Germany 11 x Gold 1998 1,100,000
Switzerland 2 x Platinum 1997 60,000


"Con te partirò"
Chart (1996/97) Peak

Dutch Mega Top 100 18
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart 1
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 1
French SNEP Singles Chart 1
Chart (2007) Peak

UK Singles Chart 69

"Time to Say Goodbye"
Chart (1997) Peak

Austrian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Mega Top 100 5
French SNEP Singles Chart 25
German Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 31
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 2


  1. Con Te Partiro at
  2. Andrea Bocelli Online Biography

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