Milan cathedral concerts put fiddlers on the roof

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Milan’s Gothic cathedral will hold its first rooftop classical music concerts this year, officials said on Monday.

The Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, the organization responsible since 1387 for overseeing the Duomo, said the five concerts will feature a 60-piece orchestra and choir performing about 50 meters (165 feet) above the ground.

The roof is one of Milan’s top tourist attractions, with views stretching north to the snow-capped Alps.

“It is absolutely the first time in more than six centuries. When I was planning the concerts it was a surprise no one had ever done it (before),” Gianni Baratta, the project’s artistic director, said after a news conference.

The music for this year’s concerts from June 10 to July 15 will feature 19th century Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.

The 500 tickets for the first concert will go to guests of the Duomo, sponsors and the public, who can enter an online draw for free entry. The Duomo is the second biggest church in Italy after St. Peter’s in Rome.

Writing by Nigel Tutt; editing by Robert Woodward