The Italian tenor’s live-streaming solo performance on this Easter Sunday, streamed on April 12 exclusively via YouTube from the Duomo in Milan, has gone into the record books as drawing the biggest audience for a classical live stream in YouTube’s history.
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Bocelli’s “Music For Hope — Live From Duomo di Milano” reached over 2.8 million peak concurrent viewers, according to YouTube. That also makes it one of the biggest musical live-stream performances of all time. The 25-minute video generated more than 28 million views worldwide in its first 24 hours, and as of Tuesday morning had topped 35 million views. Even prior to the stream beginning, more than 1 million viewers were queued up in the waiting room.
In addition, over the past 48 hours, Bocelli’s Easter Sunday performance reached the No. 1 spot on YouTube’s trending charts in multiple countries, including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Canada, Spain and throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Colombia.
In a statement, Bocelli said, “I am moved and delighted to have received such an overwhelming reaction that has gone beyond our highest expectations…. It was an immeasurable honor and privilege to lend my voice to the prayers of millions of people, gathered in a single embrace — a small, great miracle of which the whole world was the protagonist and which confirms my optimism about the future of our planet.”
Accompanied only by the organist, Emanuele Vianelli, Bocelli sang a carefully chosen selection of pieces, specially arranged for solo voice and organ, including the beloved Bach/Gounod setting of “Ave Maria” and Franck’s “Panis Angelicus.” Bocelli ended the performance with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
“YouTube is honored to have played a role in making sure the world could to come together, as one music family, to see, hear and listen to Andrea Bocelli’s performance on such a historic day in time,” Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, said in a statement.
For the record, the most-viewed live-streaming event in YouTube’s history remains the 2012 space jump by skydiver Felix Baumgartner, which more than 8 million people watched live concurrently on YouTube.
The event, which was by invitation of the City and of the cathedral, was promoted by the City of Milan and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, produced by Sugar Music, Universal Music Group and Decca Records. Bocelli’s participation was entirely pro-bono in collaboration with Almud and Maverick Management.
The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) has started a COVID-19 fundraiser to help hospitals purchase supplies to protect their medical staffs. Donations may be made through the GoFundMe campaign at this link.
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