Eye Candy

Live! From the Sistine Chapel

by Erica Firpo
Sistine A colorful guard at the doors. All photos by Erica Firpo.

The Sistine Chapel opens its doors to the world with a live-streamed performance by Stabat Mater, allowing the public to photograph and record its interior for the first time.

In spring of 2018, the Sistine Chapel went live, notching in two firsts — the Sistine Chapel being live-streamed, and a British choir (led by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen with Britten Sinfonia) performing in over two decades. It was an incredible backdrop for Sir James MacMillan's Stabat Mater, a 13th-century hymn and a profoundly moving musical experience. Stabat Mater has been performed around the world and interpreted by many different composers, but the Sistine Chapel live-streamed concert marked the biggest platform yet. 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, Massimo Palombella, and the director of the Sistine Chapel choir and John Studzinski brought the experience together with the Genesis Foundation, rendering the space and relevancy of the Sistine Chapel from blockbuster to intimate. I enjoyed the papal treatment as I walked through the non-public areas of Vatican City and sat front and center for the hour-long event.


WATCH THE CONCERT

See a video of the live-streamed event. 

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