Placido Domingo to sing before the World Cup final

The great tenor and conductor will make his sixth appearance at the sporting final – that's even more than Pelé

Placido Domingo has been announced as part of the World Cup's grand finale, performing at a concert in Rio de Janeiro. This will be Domingo's sixth time singing before a World Cup's final match.

"I always think music and sport are the two great things many people can understand without any need to really speak the language," Domingo told the Associated Press. The 73-year-old opera singer is a lifelong football fan: apart from 1978's match between Argentina and the Netherlands, he has attended every World Cup final since 1970.

Naturally, Domingo is rooting for his home country, Spain, to win their second World Cup in a row. "I think they have as many chances as anybody else," he declared. But Italy and Germany are "ready" too, he said; "they always smell the success."

Domingo's World Cup set will take place at Rio's HSBC Arena on 11 July, two days before the final. Described as a programme of classical music and Brazilian songs, Domingo will be joined by soprano Ana María Martínez, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, and the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira with conductor Eugene Kohn.

Although Domingo is no longer a consistent tenor, lately preferring baritone roles, he remains a busy and acclaimed opera performer. He is in London this month to conduct Tosca at the Royal Opera House and missed performing at the 2010 World Cup because of singing commitments at Covent Garden. He still made time to catch the final match – jetting to South Africa for Spain's victory over the Netherlands.

Domingo is currently general director of the Los Angeles Opera.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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