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Andrea Bocelli to perform in an empty Duomo Cathedral on Easter Sunday

He will sing in the Duomo on Sunday, April 12

Like many churches across the world, the Duomo di Milano in Italy will be closed this Easter in an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The pews will be empty, but the historic cathedral will be far from quiet.

Tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform at the cathedral on Sunday, April 12, in an audience-free concert that will be livestreamed on his YouTube channel at 9pm UAE time.

The concert, “Bocelli: Music for Hope”, will see the Italian tenor – accompanied by cathedral organist Emanuele Vianelli – performing church hymns such as Ave Maria and Sancta Maria.

The Duomo Cathedral is normally full during Easter Mass, and tourists flock around and inside the gothic structure all year round.

Bocelli’s concert will ensure the cathedral does not fall into an unprecedented quietude on the holy day. The concert is being organised by the Universal Music Group, which is working with the City of Milan, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, Sugar Music and YouTube to put on the virtual concert.

“This year, Easter will be very different for all of us,” said Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan.

“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.”

According to a release about the concert, the artist will be performing at the cathedral pro bono.

He said he hopes the Easter concert will provide some comfort to viewers regardless of their religion.

The virtual concert is not the first time the famed tenor has attempted to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. Bocelli’s foundation has raised more than Dh500,000 to help hospitals in Italy purchase medical supplies.

He will also be performing in the “One World: Together At Home” benefit concert on Saturday, April 18.

A number of artists are scheduled to perform at the virtual concert, including Billie Eilish, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Elton John and John Legend.

One World: Together At Homewhich will be streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and Instagram, will be hosted by late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.