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Bocelli gives solo concert to empty Milan Duomo

By Chen Nan | | Updated: 2020-04-14 08:35
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On Easter Sunday, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a solo concert (photos), titled Music for Hope, from an empty Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy, streamed live to millions of people around the world amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Accompanied only by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, Bocelli sung a chosen selection of pieces, specially arranged for solo voice and organ for the occasion, including the beloved Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod and Amazing Grace, opening completely unaccompanied – an incredibly poignant moment in a city under continued lockdown, alongside a stirring programme of sacred music for one of the holiest days of the year. The recording was released digitally on audio streaming services within hours.

"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. Love is a gift. Making it flow is the primary purpose of life itself. And I find myself once again indebted to life. My gratitude goes to all those who made this possible, the City of Milan and the Duomo, and to all those who accepted the invitation and joined in a planetary embrace, gathering that blessing from Heaven that gives us courage, trust, optimism, in the certainty of our faith," Bocelli said of the event.

The singer, with the Foundation that carries his name, is currently involved in an emergency COVID-19 campaign. The Andrea Bocelli Foundation has started a fundraiser to help hospitals purchase instruments and equipment necessary to protect their medical staff.

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