Andrea Bocelli is here to make your Easter Sunday more uplifting with “a message of love, healing and hope” as the world grapples with a global health crisis.
The Italian opera legend will give a concert Sunday in the historic Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy, and it will be livestreamed on YouTube. The cathedral is closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, so Bocelli will perform to an empty venue.
Cathedral organist Emanuele Vianelli will be Bocelli’s sole accompaniment, and together they will perform spiritual songs such as “Ave Maria” and “Sancta Maria.”
“Bocelli: Music for Hope” is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. in Italy, which is 1 p.m. Eastern. The live performance will be seen exclusively on Bocelli’s YouTube channel.
“On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I’m honored and happy to answer ‘Sì’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan,” said Bocelli in a statement Tuesday. “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.
“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 … It will be a joy to witness it, in the Duomo, during the Easter celebration which evokes the mystery of birth and rebirth,” he continued.
Giuseppe Sala, Milan’s mayor, said in a statement: “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.”
The Andrea Bocelli Foundation has also started an emergency GoFundMe campaign to help hospitals purchase equipment to protect medical staff from the virus.