Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

Andrea Bocelli to perform in an empty Duomo Cathedral on Easter Sunday

He will sing in the Duomo on Sunday, April 12

Andrea Bocelli will give a solo livestreamed performance on Easter Sunday from the main historic cathedral in Milan, Italy. AP
Andrea Bocelli will give a solo livestreamed performance on Easter Sunday from the main historic cathedral in Milan, Italy. AP

Like many churches across the world, the Duomo di Milano in Italy will be closed this Easter in an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The pews will be empty, but the historic cathedral will be far from quiet.

Andrea Bocelli will perform at the cathedral on Sunday, in an audience-free concert that will be live-streamed on his YouTube channel at 9pm, UAE time.

As part of the concert, titled Bocelli: Music for Hope, the Italian tenor, who will be accompanied by cathedral organist Emanuele Vianelli, will perform hymns such as Ave Maria and Sancta Maria.

The Duomo is normally full during Easter Mass, and tourists flock to the Gothic structure all year round.

Pigeons take posses of empty Duomo square in Milan, Italy, Sunday, April 5, 2020. The government is demanding Italians stay home and not take the leveling off of new coronavirus infections as a sign the emergency is over, following evidence that more and more Italians are relaxing restrictions the west’s first and most extreme nationwide lockdown and production shutdown. (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP)
Pigeons in empty Duomo square in Milan, Italy, Sunday, April 5, 2020. AP

Bocelli’s concert will ensure the cathedral does not fall into an unprecedented quietude on the holy day. The concert is being organised by Universal Music Group, which is working with the City of Milan, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano – the institution responsible for the conservation and development of the cathedral – record label Sugar Music and YouTube, to put on the virtual show.

“This year, Easter will be very different for all of us,” said Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan. 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.”

According to a press release, the artist will be performing at the cathedral pro bono. He said he hopes the Easter concert will provide some comfort to viewers regardless of their religion.

The virtual show is not the first time the famed tenor has attempted to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. Bocelli’s foundation has raised more than Dh500,000 to help hospitals in Italy purchase medical supplies.

He will also be performing in the "One World: Together at Home" benefit on Saturday, April 18. Several artists are scheduled to perform at the virtual concert, including Billie Eilish, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Elton John and John Legend.

One World: Together at Home, which will be streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Prime Video and Instagram, will be hosted by late-night television hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.

Updated: April 9, 2020 07:25 PM

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