We’re pleased to present the U.S. broadcast premiere of Easter Sunday concert, Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope, A Great Performances Special, nationally on PBS this week (check local listings). In the New York metro area, the concert premieres Thursday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN.
In a concert offering an uplifting message of love, healing and hope, Italian tenor and global music icon Andrea Bocelli gives a solo performance at the historic Duomo, the cathedral of Milan, Italy, by invitation of the city and of the cathedral and thanks to the hospitality of the Archpriest and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.
Bocelli said of the event: “I will cherish the emotion of this unprecedented and profound experience, of this Holy Easter which this emergency has made painful, but at the same time even more fruitful, one that will stay among my dearest memories of all time. That feeling of being at the same time alone – as we all are in the presence of the Most High – yet of expressing the voice of the prayer of millions of voices, has deeply impressed and moved me. Love is a gift. Making it flow is the primary purpose of life itself. And I find myself once again indebted to life. My gratitude goes to all those who made this possible, the City of Milan and the Duomo, and to all those who accepted the invitation and joined in a planetary embrace, gathering that blessing from Heaven that gives us courage, trust, optimism, in the certainty of our faith.”
The Duomo, currently closed to all, opened its doors exclusively for Bocelli, who was accompanied only by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, playing one of world’s largest pipe organs. The carefully selected repertoire of sacred music, specially arranged for solo voice and organ, include the beloved “Ave Maria” setting by Bach/Gounod, Mascagni’s “Sancta Maria” and “Amazing Grace” – opening completely unaccompanied – in the still of a city under continued lockdown, on a day symbolic of the renewal of life.
“Panis Angelicus” (from “Messe Solennelle” Op. 12, FWV 61) – César Franck
“Ave Maria” (arranged from Johann Sebastian Bach, “Prelude” no. 1, BWV 846) – Charles-François Gounod
“Sancta Maria” (arranged from “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Intermezzo) – Pietro Mascagni
“Domine Deus” (from “Petite Messe Solennelle”) – Gioachino Antonio Rossini
“Amazing Grace” – John Newton
The concert is currently available to stream on Youtube.
The event was promoted by the City of Milan and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, and produced by Sugar Music and Universal Music Group, thanks to the generous contribution of YouTube. Bocelli’s participation was entirely pro-bono (in collaboration with Almud and Maverick Management). Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Seton J. Melvin, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, and Ellen and James S. Marcus.