On Easter Sunday, Andrea Bocelli performed a virtual concert from his YouTube channel.
Bocelli said the City of Milan as well as the leadership of the Duomo of Milan had invited hime to sing within its famed walls.
The 25-minute solo concert, titled “Music for Hope,” was a big hit, reaching number one on YouTube’s trending list and garnering more than 27 million views in less than 24 hours.
The 61-year-old tenor, who has been blind since he was 12, stood 6 feet away from the cathedral’s organist, Emanuele Vianelli as he sang religious classics like “Ave Maria” and “Amazing Grace,” CNN reports.
“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 as he introduced the concert. “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 didn’t see the livestream as a performance or concert at all. Instead, he saw it as a prayer, and hopes that everyone who listens to him sing can join him in that prayer, Fox News reports.
The Duomo and other public gathering places are currently closed to the public amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19, which has led to 19,800 deaths in the country, the Hill reports.