Placido Domingo to receive ceremonial Freedom of the City of London


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The Independent Culture

Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo is in the UK today to receive the ceremonial Freedom of the City of London.

The honour, awarded for outstanding contributions to London life, was given to the singer in recognition of his career spanning six decades, including 200 appearances at the Royal Opera House and performances alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras as one of the Three Tenors.

Other recent high-profile recipients of the title include actors Dame Judy Dench and 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 was attending 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.