On Easter Sunday, April 12, Italian tenor and global music icon Andrea Bocelli will give a solo performance at the historic Duomo, the cathedral of Milan, Italy, by invitation of the city and of the cathedral.

“On the day on 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 agreeing to perform the concert. 

No audience will be present at the “Bocelli: Music for Hope” concert, in compliance with Italian government regulations on COVID-19), but the concert will be exclusively streamed live globally on the tenor’s YouTube channel at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in the Washington, D.C., area,  uniting the world in the face of a global pandemic.

In a concert representing a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world, the Duomo, a national and international landmark, currently closed to all, will open its doors for Andrea Bocelli, who will be accompanied only by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, playing one of world’s largest pipe organs.

The carefully selected pieces, specially arranged for solo voice and organ for the occasion, will include the well-loved Ave Maria setting by Bach/Gounod and Mascagni’s Sancta Maria – uplifting sacred music repertoire on a day symbolic of the renewal of life.

The event is promoted by the city of Milan and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, produced by Sugar Music and Universal Music Group, thanks to the contribution of YouTube. Andrea Bocelli’s participation is entirely pro-bono.

I am happy Andrea has accepted our invitation,” said the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala. “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.”

Msgr. Gianantonio Borgonovo, the archpriest of the Duomo of Milan, said, Our ‘Hallelujah’ is an invitation that we placed in the ark 40 days ago and that the flood, which has overwhelmed us all, almost made us forget the joy of expressing it on the day of Easter. The voice and word of Andrea Bocelli reminds us that the reason for our hope does not come from us but it is a gift that comes from God.”

Bocelli's concert, the priest said, will give people that the spirit of the risen Christ “will help us shape the days granted to us in the Kingdom of the One who wanted a new humanity, united and fraternal.” 

Reflecting on the concert, Bocelli said, “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... It will be a joy to witness it, in the Duomo, during the Easter celebration which evokes the mystery of birth and rebirth.” 

Bocelli, 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 all the instrumentation and equipment necessary to protect their medical staff. People can donate through the foundation's GoFundMe campaign or by contacting the Andrea Bocelli Foundation by writing to [email protected].

(Livestreaming for “Bocelli: Music for Hope” will be on youtube.com/AndreaBocelli.)