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Opera singer Placido Domingo to receive Freedom of the City of London

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
6:23 AM

Opera singer Placido Domingo will receive the Freedom of the City of London today.

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The honour, awarded for outstanding contributions to London life, was given to the Spanish singer in recognition of his career, which has spanned six decades and included 200 appearances at the Royal Opera House.

Domingo has performed alongisde artists including Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras as one of the Three Tenors.

Other recent high-profile recipients of the title include actors Dame Judy Dench, Damian Lewis and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

On learning that he had been nominated, Domingo, 72, said: “I am blessed to have amassed and nurtured an enduring relationship with London and its wonderfully cultivated audience for more than 42 years.

“I am proud of having once called Chelsea a home, and having embedded so much of my history here. I am now filled with emotion and gratitude.”

The Madrid-born tenor and conductor will attend a ceremony to receive the freedom today at the Lord Mayor’s official residence, the Mansion House, in the City of London.

Last night he performed the title role in Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, his 142nd role in a career which started in 1959, when he was 18.

Alderman Roger Gifford, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said: “His exceptional legacy to classical music will endure for decades to come, and it is a huge pleasure and personal privilege to host Placido Domingo at Mansion House and admit him into the Freedom.”

The freedom of the City of London is thought to have been established in 1237 and is now awarded to men and women at the forefront of business, culture and science in the capital.

Domingo has already received international awards including the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for Arts, Commander of the French Legion d’Honneur, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, and an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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