Opera star Andrea Bocelli gave a solo performance livestreamed from the empty Duomo cathedral in Milan on Easter Sunday in what he called a show of support for those in Italy and across the world during the coronavirus pandemic.
"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," the singer said at the start of the livestream. "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."
"Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world, we will hug this wounded Earth’s pulsing heart, this wonderful international forge that is reason for Italian pride," he continued.
"The generous, courageous, proactive Milan and the whole of Italy will be again, and very soon, a winning model, engine of a renaissance that we all hope for. It will be a joy to witness it, in the Duomo, during the Easter celebration, which evokes the mystery of birth and rebirth," Bocelli added.
During the concert, the opera singer performed a number of religious songs, including "Ave Maria," "Panis Angelicus" and "Sancta Maria." At the end of the concert, he also performed "Amazing Grace" on the empty steps outside the cathedral.
Bocelli said the performance, which was dubbed "Andrea Bocelli: Music For Hope," was given by invitation of the city of Milan and the cathedral.
The concert follows a number of livestreamed performances musicians and actors have given in recent weeks to lift their fans' spirits as much of the world has been in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest John Hopkins University data, more than 156,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Italy alone, in addition to more than 19,800 deaths. Overall, the data shows more than 1.8 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, as well as more than 113,000 deaths and more than 420,000 recoveries.