Plácido Domingo will receive the freedom of the City of London today. The Spanish singer, 72, is being honoured for his outstanding contribution to the British capital’s cultural life.
He has appeared at the Royal Opera House over 200 times since the start of his career in 1959. At Covent Garden last night he sang the title part in Verdi’s Nabucco, his 142nd role and one showcasing his move from tenor to baritone.
‘I am blessed to have amassed and nurtured an enduring relationship with London and its wonderfully cultivated audience for more than 42 years,’ the Madrid-born musician said of the award, ‘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.’
Domingo will receive the freedom at Mansion House, the Lord Mayor’s official residence. Previous recipients include Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, author JK Rowling and actor Dame Judi Dench. The honour is thought to have been established in 1237.