BOSTON (CBS) — With restaurants closed for takeout only, the usual bustling North End is quiet. But for a couple hours on Saturday, there was a concerted effort to bring it back to its Italian roots.

People strolling around the North End Saturday afternoon were brought to a standstill, captivated by professional operatic voices, like tenor Fred Van Ness. For two hours, opera singers with the North End Music and Performing Arts Center held a balcony performance.

“We have all been online virtually so much and missing that interpersonal connection,” said Sherri Snow, the group’s executive director. “I think for the artists as well, not performing right now. One of our goals in the program is to really support them.”

(WBZ-TV)

Their current stage was provided by Tresca Restaurant on Hanover Street.

“The response has been great,” said Tresca Chef and Co-owner Rich Ancera. “It has really done what we intended it to do — bring a little calmness and positivity to the North End.”

This is the third weekend that opera singers have serenaded the neighborhood. It is not advertized, to make sure crowds don’t show up. The goal is for passersby to pause for a moment or two.

“One woman out there a couple weeks ago was bawling her eyes out watching the opera, which really kind of said to me that this is really effective.”

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