Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli gave a mesmerizing performance outside Milan's empty Duomo on Easter Sunday, hoping to bring together people isolated during the coronavirus lockdown in a livestreamed broadcast that went viral on social media.
"Mine will be a song that wants to be a prayer and wants to ask everyone listening to join in this prayer with me," Bocelli told Reuters earlier via a Skype interview.
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Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala said he hoped the performance, which was viewed by more than 25 million people worldwide, would “be the embrace we are missing these days, a strong, special hug, capable of warming the heart of Milan, Italy and the world”.
Bocelli, whose personal foundation helps people struggling with poverty and illiteracy, said that like everyone else he was worried and uncertain about the future of a world turned on its head by the coronavirus.
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Bocelli said he had been asked by Lady Gaga to join other musicians livestreaming to try to inspire a sense of hope.