One of the most sacred and visited places in the world for over 160 years, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes will welcome tenor Andrea Bocelli for the first time, on July 16th, 2023 (Sunday). With a sacred repertoire, the performance will be dedicated to families and pilgrims who visit the Sanctuary on that day.
“Our Lady of Lourdes is the saint of miraculous cures and intercedes for those who suffer from sickness of body and soul. In such a difficult moment for all the humanity, it was natural to think of the patroness of the sick to honor the memory of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic through prayer for music”, says Pedro Bianco, president of Dançar Marketing, a Brazilian entertainment company, creator and responsible for the general coordination of the project.
Entitled “Prayers for Life”, the concert is part of a cycle of performances at Marian Shrines around the world, offered free of charge to pilgrims. Andrea Bocelli, an artist of great faith, has been participating in these celebrations since 2016 and carries with him the quote from Saint Augustine when he states that “The one who sings prays twice”.
The first edition of the project was held at the National Sanctuary of Aparecida (Brazil, 2016, jubilee year) which celebrated the opening of the celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the appearance of the image of Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida. The North American violinist Caroline Campbell, the Cuban soprano Maria Aleida, and the Brazilian singer Daniel, accompanied by the Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir of the State of São Paulo, managed by the social organization Santa Marcelina Cultura, under the regency of the Italian conductor Carlo Bernini, performed with Andrea Bocelli.
In 2018, one year after the canonization of Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto proclaimed by Pope Francis, Andrea Bocelli performed at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, in Portugal, for a recital that closed the celebrations of the Centenary of the Apparitions. The tenor was accompanied by the French pianist Elizabeth Sombart, the Ukrainian violinist Anastasiya Petryshak, and the Portuguese singer Ana Moura, conducted by maestro Carlo Bernini.
In 2023, the project comes to Lourdes, France, on July 16th, the date that marks the anniversary of the last apparition of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous: “It is with great joy and honor that we welcome this concert at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. It’s a beautiful mission and, logistically, very challenging. But from the beginning, we spared no effort in finding all the necessary means to carry it out and honor, through music, all who lost their loved ones during the pandemic”, says Father Michel Daubanes, Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The tenor’s performance at the Sanctuary of Lourdes will be free of charge to the public and memorable. Andrea Bocelli will be accompanied by the Choir and Orchestra of Pau Pays de Béarn, from the city of Pau, France, conducted by Italian maestro Carlo Bernini. “Faith and music are above all difficulties, and it is this message of peace and solidarity that we want to offer to everyone on this day. Our wish is that the whole world can watch, honor and participate in this moment and we are looking for partners around the world who can help us spread and take this unique moment to as many people as possible”, adds Pedro Bianco.