|Arvore da Vida choir sings with Andrea Bocelli in Brazil|
On November 6, 2011, world-renowned tenor Andrea Boccelli took the stage in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with some special guests: a chorus of 30 teens from the joint Fiat, AVSI and CDM initiative Arvore da Vida. The outdoor concert, with an attendance of about 80,000, was Boccelli’s only concert in Latin America this year and was sponsored by Fiat to commemorate the company’s 35 years in Brazil.
Accompanying Bocelli on stage during the two hours of music were Cuban soprano Maria Aleida, popular Brazilian artist Sandy, and the teens from the Arvore da Vida program of Jardim Teresopolis, the favela (or slum) where the integrated social and economic development project has proved invaluable for the 35,000 inhabitants over its 7 year history.
With great anticipation for the big day, the 30 young people rehearsed for over 3 months, culminating with a dress rehearsal the day before with noted orchestral director Eugene Kohn. On the day of the performance, they joined Andrea Bocelli in a press conference.
AVSI representative in Belo Horizonte Gianfranco Commodoro commented, “When we began the music program at Arvore da Vida, with the scope of improving academic performance, we certainly had big expectations, but not quite this big! Tomorrow, we will take up our activities in Jardim Teresopolis again with great enthusiasm, but without losing sight of the primary educational objective.”
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