64th David di Donatello Awards – Show. Andrea Bocelli. Rome, Italy. 27 Mar 2019. IPA/WENN.com —Reuters/Bang Showbiz

Andrea Bocelli is to perform a special concert at Italy’s historic Duomo di Milano on Easter Sunday.

Cathedral organist Emanuele Vianelli will accompany Bocelli for the occasion, which will take place without a live audience as Italy remains in lockdown due to the devastating coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The performance, titled Bocelli: Music for Hope, and featuring the classic religious piece Ave Maria, is set to take place at 6 pm BST and will air live on Bocelli’s YouTube channel. 

In a statement announcing the YouTube concert, he commented: “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 the reason for Italian pride.

“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.”

The opera singer’s Andrea Bocelli Foundation has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Italian hospitals purchase supplies to protect medical staff from the virus. It has already raised more than $143,000 (£115,700) for the cause.

Reuters/Bang Showbiz