Andrea Bocelli has had a very busy year throughout 2020. The Italian tenor stunned the world with his live-streamed Music of Hope concert from Milan’s cathedral on Easter Sunday. And since then he’s been performing in whatever way he can amid the global pandemic.
Just before Christmas, Andrea Bocelli sang Ave Maria live from St Paul’s Cathedral in London for the BBC’s Songs of Praise.
Dressed in black tie, the 62-year-old was accompanied by classical stringed instruments as he graced the historic building with his goosebump-inducing vocals.
Commenting on the official video, fans thanked God for Bocelli’s gift of music.
While one added: “That’s what the whole world needed to hear right now. Thanks, Andrea ! Merry Christmas!”
Ave Maria, translated from the Latin prayer Hail Mary, is the fifth single on Bocelli’s brand new album Believe.
The official music video sees the acclaimed singer visit Loreto, Italy with his daughter Virginia. As he performs Ave Maria, the father and daughter visit the Santuario della Santa Casa di Loreto.
Translated the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, the basilica enshrines the house which is believed by some Catholics to be where the Virgin Mary once lived.
A Catholic pilgrimage since at least the 14th century, Bocelli is filmed examining the marble screen around the Holy House.
Underneath the music video, the 62-year-old is quoted as saying: “I don’t consider myself to be a composer, however, I am a musician, and sometimes melodies come to my mind, with essentially complete harmonies… Music that knocks on the door of my soul and which I gladly welcome and then set free by putting pen to paper”.
The accompanying caption read: “Thus, Andrea Bocelli has created this inspired arrangement for Ave Maria, which was composed in March 2020. The song clearly displays the Tuscan tenor’s strong religious feeling, who draws strength not only from his spiritual journey and meditations on adulthood but also from his childhood memories:
“From the first time, he performed the sacred repertoire on the keys of an organ, the genuine devotion expressed by the community of churchgoers in the rural town where he grew up.”
While during his live-streamed festive concert Believe in Christmas last month, Bocelli sang a Hallelujah duet with daughter Virginia. Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Bocelli described singing such a beautiful song with his eight-year-old.
Andrea Bocelli sings Ave Maria in beautiful music video – WATCH [VIDEO]
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Bocelli said: “It was a true Christmas present that Virginia gifted to me. It was very emotional but there was no apprehension: I focused on the beauty and intimacy and I tried to convey the serenity, encouragement and reassurance to Virginia.
“We sat on stage with only a guitar, the silence and her voice intertwining with mine. It was beautiful and simple. It was a very special moment, one to savour and remember always.”
Asked whose idea the duet was, the 62-year-old said: “The initial idea was born from a bit of fun, and then it came to the concert and the song itself with Virginia was featured in the setlist. Franco Dragone, the director of the live stream, insisted that it be included in the show and judging by the results he was right in entrusting her with such an important part. Although Virginia, was practically born and raised on stage and behind the scenes, this was her official debut.”
Bocelli also shared that Virginia was not nervous for the performance and didn’t take any singing lessons.
The Italian tenor said: “No, she wasn’t nervous, she is a very determined child, and certainly her piano and dance studies have helped her understand when you need to give your all. In Parma, everything went smoothly and with the greatest of ease.
“It’s a father and daughter duo singing a song together. Virginia has mastered how to forget the cameras and stay focussed. She maintains the right spontaneity – on a song that I’d recently recorded that she has heard so many times.”
He added: “She didn’t take any singing lessons, no. Although, she grew up on diet of bread and music. She has been studying the piano for three years and has been absorbing the art and sounds since she was born. Indeed, from her mother’s womb, Virginia was able to experience daily studio sessions, plays at the theatre and the recording of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette at the opera.”
Andrea Bocelli’s new album Believe is out now.