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Andrea Bocelli to livestream Easter concert from Milan's empty Duomo cathedral

Opera icon Andrea Bocelli will perform in a livestreamed Easter Sunday concert from the otherwise-empty Duomo cathedral in Milan amid early signs of success in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Italy, one of the countries hit hardest by the disease, Reuters reported.

Bocelli, who will be accompanied by organist Emanuele Vianelli, will perform several religious works including Pietro Mascagni's "Sancta Maria," which the singer previously recorded on his 1999 album "Sacred Arias."

"I'm honoured and happy to answer 'Si' to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan. 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," Bocelli said in a statement.

The concert will stream on Bocelli's YouTube channel on Sunday at 1 p.m. eastern.

"This year, Easter will be very different for all of us," Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said in a 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."

Northern Italy, including Milan and the surrounding Lombardy region, has been devastated by the pandemic, with more than 9,400 deaths in the region as of Tuesday. However, Italy on Sunday reported the lowest single-day death toll in over two weeks, the third consecutive decline in daily deaths. The death count ticked back up on Monday, however.

Several musicians and artists have streamed performances online amid mass social distancing measures and closures of venues, including the Dropkick Murphys, who streamed their traditional Boston St. Patrick's Day concert for free. Both John Legend and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin streamed live performances from their homes.

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