Andrea Bocelli performs at a concert. TNS
With the world under the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, Easter celebrations will undoubtedly be muted for Christians around the world.
Just as millions of the faith's followers look forward to stream live mass services on Easter Sunday, April 12, there's also a dose of classical entertainment that they can enjoy virtually.
Famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli has revealed that he will perform a solo concert at Milan’s historic Duomo Cathedral this Easter Sunday.
The concert will not be attended by an audience and access to the public is prohibited due to coronavirus restrictions put in place by the Italian government.
However, fans around the world will be able to watch the concert streamed live from Bocelli’s official YouTube channel at 7pm in Italy, which is 9pm UAE time.
Bocelli will be accompanied during the pro-bono concert only by the cathedral’s organist, Emanuele Vianelli, who will play one of the world’s largest pipe organs.
Among the pieces performed will be “Ave Maria” and Mascagni’s “Sancta Maria.”
Milan’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala, said in a statement: “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 himself said: “The generous, courageous, proactive Milan and the whole of Italy will be again, and very soon, a winning model, engine of a renaissance that we all hope for.
“It will be a joy to witness it, in the Duomo, during the Easter celebration which evokes the mystery of birth and rebirth.”
Bocelli also said that irrespective of people's faith, he hopes Sunday's concert will bring together "millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world."
Meanwhile, doing his bit in the fight against COVID-19, the tenor's Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) has started a fundraiser to help hospitals purchase all the instrumentation and equipment necessary to protect their medical staff.
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