Friar Alessandro sang to a filled St Patrick’s on Saturday night enchanting the audience with a journey through the Advent story in Carols, Scripture, prayer and musical reflections.
Born Alessandro Brustenghi, the Franciscan friar, now 41, has sung on stages and in Cathedrals throughout the world. He is in Melbourne to promote his fourth album.
Beautifully supported by Vivian Choi on piano and the Artes Christi choir and orchestra, Friar Alessandro filled the Cathedral with sublime music. It is his first visit to Australia, and many in the audience hope it will not be his last.
Dressed in his simple brown cassock, the singer demonstrated a tenor so powerful that he landed a record deal with Universal Music. Friar Alessandro recorded his first album, Voice from Assisi
, at Abbey Road Studios in London with U2 producer Mike Hedges.
According to Hedges, Friar Alessandro is ‘the next Italian tenor’.
The Franciscan friar has taken vows of poverty and humility, meaning all proceeds from album sales are given to Order of Friars Minor, a registered charity that assists Franciscan charity activities around the world.
His tour also celebrates the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the Friars Minor in Australia (OFM).
The Archdiocese of Melbourne thanks Dean Utri and the staff of St Patrick's Cathedral, ACU, CCI, Bernie’s Musicland, Staff from the Archdiocese of Sydney, and the volunteers from Vinnies who collected proceeds towards the Vinnies Christmas Appeal.