Easter Sunday will be a lot different this year as people around the world remain stuck inside their homes and apart from many of their loved ones in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Instead of large family gatherings and services at church, many people will participate in these traditions virtually.
On April 12, renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli will perform via livestream in celebration of the holiday. This special concert will start at 1 p.m. Eastern on Bocelli’s YouTube channel. “Bocelli: Music for Hope” will stream live from the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy.
The legendary singer says that he’s happy to inspire people with a message of hope during this difficult time.
The Italian artist promoted a message of inclusivity in talking about his decision to do the performance amid the pandemic that has greatly affected his home country. Whether people are religious or not, he said he thinks the world needs the powerful symbolism that Easter provides.
“On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I’m honored and happy to answer ‘Si’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan,” Bocelli wrote in a statement shared on his YouTube channel. “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.”
He also praised the city of Milan and all of Italy for battling through the outbreak, which has killed thousands of people in that country so far.
“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 will be accompanied by the cathedral’s organist, Emanuele Vianelli, inside the otherwise empty cathedral. They will perform songs including “Ave Maria” and “Sancta Maria,” Bocelli told the Associated Press.
Andrea Bocelli Foundation, the singer’s charitable organization, has raised more than $140,000 for hospitals in Italy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. You can donate to the foundation’s GoFundMe page to help with those relief efforts.