Once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, Milan, Italy will mark Easter Sunday by staging a very special concert featuring Andrea Bocelli.
At the city’s request, the famed opera singer will deliver a solo performance at the historic Duomo cathedral on April 12th. Though it won’t be open to the public due to the countrywide lockdown, the event — titled “Music for Hope” — will be livestreamed globally to promote a message of “love, healing, and hope to Italy and the world.”
Bocelli will be joined by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, who will be playing one of the world’s largest pipe organs. The Easter Sunday concert will consist of “carefully selected pieces, specially arranged for solo voice and organ for the occasion,” including “the well-loved Ave Maria setting by Bach/Gounod and Mascagni’s Sancta Maria – uplifting sacred music repertoire on a day symbolic of the renewal of life.”
“I believe in the strength of praying together; I believe in the Christian Easter, a universal symbol of rebirth that everyone – whether they are believers or not – truly needs right now,” the 61-year-old Bocelli commented in a press release. “Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world, we will hug this wounded Earth’s pulsing heart, this wonderful international forge that is reason for Italian pride.”
In his own statement, Mayor of Milan Guiseppe Sala said, “I am happy Andrea has accepted our invitation. This year, Easter will be very different for all of us. The joyous serenity that usually comes with this day, has been greatly troubled by the pandemic we are experiencing. I am sure that the extraordinary voice of Bocelli will be the embrace we are missing these days, a strong, special hug, capable of warming the heart of Milan, Italy and the world.”
Bocelli’s “Music for Hope” Easter Concert will livestream this Sunday, beginning 1 p.m. ET over on the iconic musician’s YouTube channel. Update: You can replay the performance via the video player below.
The entire country of Italy has been on shutdown since early March because of the rapidly spreading outbreak. As of today, there are over 130,000 confirmed cases and more than 16,000 have succumbed to the novel virus.
Following his Easter concert, Bocelli will participate in the One World: Together at Home TV special, a coronavirus relief fundraiser curated by Lady Gaga. Also featuring Paul McCartney, Lizzo, and Eddie Vedder, it airs on NBC, ABC, and CBS on April 18th.