Andrea Bocelli has performed a live Music for Hope concert in an empty cathedral for Easter.
The Italian tenor performed in Milan’s Duomo Cathedral, which was empty, to promote a message of hope for Italy and the world as it confronts the Coronavirus pandemic.
It was broadcast to the whole world on YouTube on Easter Sunday and featured only Bocelli, who is one of the world’s most famous opera singers, and Emanuele Vianelli, the cathedral’s organ player.
Bocelli sang four hymns and finished with a moving rendition of Amazing Grace as a montage showed the empty streets in Paris, London and New York.
“On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I’m honoured and happy to answer ‘Si’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan,” he wrote in a message on YouTube.
“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.”
Milan is the capital of the Italian region of Lombardy, the worst-affected area in the country, with more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths recorded.
The Andrea Bocelli foundation has started a fundraiser to help hospitals purchase protective equipment for their staff.
Four hours after the concert streamed, it had already been viewed over 15 million times.
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Written by Rekha Kulen