Andrea Bocelli was not going to let a pandemic stop him from helping deliver a little hope on Easter Sunday.
Invited by the city of Milan, the Italian opera star livestreamed a solo performance on YouTube — “Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope” — from the city’s main cathedral, the Duomo di Milano, this morning.
Showing sweeping views of the city, the video’s introduction carried Bocelli’s voice-over Easter message, also a reference to the coronoavirus outbreak that has ravaged his country and weighs on most of the world.
“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.”
In a statement, Bocelli expressed how much of an emotional performance this was in terms of not only the holiday but also the state of the world during this crisis.
“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.”
Backed only by organist Emanuele Vianelli in the empty cathedral, Bocelli ran through a program that included performances of “Panis Angelicus,” “Ave Maria,” “Sancta Maria,” “Amazing Grace” and other selections.
Images of other global landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, along with the Duomo itself — the seat of the archbishop of Milan, currently Archbishop Mario Delpini — were also a part of the presentation.