The voice of hope

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The Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed yesterday a concert in the stunning and desolate the Duomo in Milan –which remains empty for the Covid-19– to carry hundreds of homes around the world a message of love and hope.

On the occasion of the opening of Easter Sunday, the concert of half an hour was aired through YouTube, Bocelli began with a few words in which he explained that he believes in “the power of praying together” and in the “Easter as a symbol of rebirth for both believers and non-believers in a time when the need is felt”.

“The positive and brave Milan and Italy will be a winning model and the model of the renaissance that we all hope for,” said Bocelli while watching the images of an Italy that is empty due to the pandemic, but that showed even more in all of its beauty.

From the interior of the cathedral, the singer started the concert –titled ‘Music for Hope’ (‘Music for hope’)– accompanied only by his voice and by the organist of the temple, Emanuele Vianelli, to the front of one of the largest organs of the planet.

While the camera also showed the details of the stained glass windows of the Duomo, Bocelli performed the traditional ‘Panis Angelicus’ to continue singing ‘Ave Maria’ by Bach, the ‘Sancta Maria’ from the opera ‘Cavallería Rusticana’ by Pietro Mascagni and the ‘Domine Deus’ of Rossini.

“I selected some of the most beautiful pieces of artists considered to be sacred and I will sing this kind of music,” said Bocelli in an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday from his home in Forte dei Marmi, a seaside town in the north of Tuscany.

Outside the cathedral, in a spectral square, Bocelli sang ‘Amazing Grace’ of John Newton, accompanied by images of the world’s major cities, such as Paris, London and New York, completely deserted.

During the pre-interview with the Associated Press, the Italian tenor confessed that for him the presentation is more than a concert, a “prayer”.

“I received this invitation from the mayor of Milan and the authorities of the Church and of course I said yes. I am very happy to do this,” he said. “In addition, it is not a performance. It is not a concert. It is only a prayer”.

“I’m going to go there to pray, and I would like to think that all who are listening to me sing, to pray with me,” he said.

We will continue to fight

What is certain is that the work of Bocelli did not end on the Sunday. The next Saturday 18 of April will participate –at the invitation of Lady Gaga– at the fundraising concert ‘One World: Together At Home’, which aims to fund the Fund of solidarity response of the World Health Organization.

There, Bocelli will be accompanied by other great artists such as Chris Martin, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, J Balvin, Eddie Vedder, or Stevie Wonder.

This presentation also can be viewed all over the world for free from platforms such as YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Tencent, Twitch, Twitter, Alibaba, among others.