Andrea Bocelli‘s voice rang out in an otherwise eerily quiet Milan on Easter Sunday (April 12) for his Music for Hope: Live from Duomo di Milano concert.
Before the livestream began, viewers took in breathtaking, sweeping views of the empty streets of the Italian city, which is under lockdown and has been for several weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus. As the cameras peered down empty waterways and calm cityscapes, the renowned Italian tenor greeted the audience with a meditation on the concert and his spiritual connection to the holiday.
“On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I’m honored and happy to answer ‘Si’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan,” Bocelli said as camera offered a bird’s eye view of the ornate spires of the Duomo.
“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. 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 proceeded to sing five songs: “Panis Angelicu, his rendition of “Ave Maria,” “Sancta Maria,” and “Domine Deus.” For his incredibly moving finale, Bocelli made his way through the empty Duomo and its main entrance, where a microphone awaited him just outside its front doors. He then sang “Amazing Grace” a cappella, and his voice echoed off the walls of the plaza as the organ came in to accompany him.
In addition to Music for Hope, Bocelli, through the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, is raising funds to provide hospitals with the resources they need, such as instruments and protective equipment for medical staff. Music for Hope will soon be available on streaming services.
Watch Bocelli’s performance during Music for Hope: Live from Duomo di Milano below.