Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sings from Milan’s empty Duomo
On April 12, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a program titled “music for hope” in Milan's empty Duomo. Streamed live globally on Easter Sunday, the concert offering an uplifting message of love, healing and hope through music to unite the world at a time when many are isolating at home.
Easter Sunday normally sees services at Milan’s iconic Duomo with full congregations but the capital of Italy’s Lombardy region, the country’s hardest hit region has been in lockdown since much of the rest of the country.
By invitation of the City and the cathedral Bocelli performed accompanied only by the cathedral organist Emanuele Vianelli. The pieces arranged for solo voice and organ included Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod, Amazing Grace and sacred music. Livestreamed on YouTube, the video has already reached over thirty-two million views and the performance is available on music streaming platforms.
Bocelli says of the event: “I will cherish the emotion of this unprecedented and profound experience, of this Holy Easter which this emergency has made painful, but at the same time even more fruitful, one that will stay among my dearest memories of all time. That feeling of being at the same time alone – as we all are in the presence of the Most High – yet of expressing the voice of the prayer of millions of voices, has deeply impressed and moved me. Love is a gift. Making it flow is the primary purpose of life itself. And I find myself once again indebted to life. My gratitude goes to all those who made this possible, the City of Milan and the Duomo, and to all those who accepted the invitation and joined in a planetary embrace, gathering that blessing from Heaven that gives us courage, trust, optimism, in the certainty of our faith.”
Bocelli performed free of charge, and his Foundation that carries his name, is currently involved in an emergency COVID-19 campaign. The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) has started a fundraiser to help hospitals purchase all the instruments and equipment necessary to protect their medical staff.
The event was promoted by the City of Milan and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, produced by Sugar Music and Universal Music Group, thanks to the generous contribution of YouTube. Andrea Bocelli’s participation was entirely pro-bono (in collaboration with Almud and Maverick Management).
Image Credits: Luca Rossetti, Courtesy Sugar SRL, Decca Records
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