Matteo Bocelli - Photo courtesy of Kathy Hutchins on Shutterstock

The McCallum Theatre was scheduled to host its annual fundraising gala Thursday evening for the first time in three years, after the event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Singer Matteo Bocelli will headline the gala at 8 p.m. Thursday along with special guest Pia Toscano and an 80-piece symphony orchestra conducted by Beatrice Venize.

Bocelli’s musical journey began as the child of renowned vocalist Andrea Bocelli. Learning to play piano as his passion for music grew, he made his stage debut singing Verdi at the Colosseum in Rome at 18 years old, theatre officials said. He garnered recognition after he co-wrote “Fall on Me” for his father’s popular album “Si.”

Toscano is currently on tour with David Foster and has been performing since she was 4 years old, when she appeared on “American Idol.”

Money raised from the gala’s performances will help fund McCallum Theatre operations and arts education programs with 50,000 students and educators in more than 300 classrooms each year, according to theater officials. The funds also make it possible for the theater to host world-class performances for more than 150,000 residents and Coachella Valley visitors annually.

People interested in purchasing tickets to the nearly sold-out show were asked to call the box office at 760-340-2787. Dinner and performance sponsorship tickets can be purchased for $1,000 by calling the theater’s manager of events, Brooke Stuessy, at 760-776-6186.

Attendees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to entering, but as of Nov. 18, the McCallum Theatre announced that masks will no longer be required. Updated information on health and safety protocols can be found at www.mccallumtheatre.com/index.php/shows/covid-19-requirements.

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