Coronavirus: Opera star Andrea Bocelli performs Easter concert in empty Italian cathedral

Andrea Bocelli - What you need to know

MILAN, Italy — Opera singer Andrea Bocelli delivered a powerful Easter concert Sunday from an empty cathedral in coronavirus-ravaged northern Italy, singing songs in a show he dubbed “Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope.”

Bocelli, 61, sang in Milan’s empty Duomo di Milano cathedral, accompanied only by organist Emanuele Vianelli, Entertainment Tonight reported. Other songs Bocelli performed included “Amazing Grace,” “Ave Maria” and “Sancta Maria,” streaming the concert on his YouTube channel.

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You can listen to the concert here. Bocelli’s emotional delivery of “Amazing Grace,” which he sings outside the cathedral, appears about 22 minutes into the concert.

“On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I’m honored and happy to answer ‘Sì’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan,” Bocelli said in a statement. released before Sunday’s concert. “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 reported by Variety earlier this week, Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said celebrating Easter this year “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,” Sala said in the statement. “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.”

Meanwhile, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for personal

Opera star Andrea Bocelli delivered a powerful concert Sunday in Milan, Italy.
Opera star Andrea Bocelli delivered a powerful concert Sunday in Milan, Italy. (Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns)