November 14, 2012 / 5:24 PM / 6 years ago

UNESCO to honor opera singers Domingo and Florez

PARIS (Reuters) - Renowned Spanish tenor Placido Domingo will be named a UNESCO goodwill ambassador in recognition of his singing career and support for young opera singers, the United Nations’ cultural agency said on Wednesday.

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo performs during the rehearsal of Thais opera by Jules Massenet as part of the Placido Domingo festival at the Maestranza theatre in the Andalusian capital of Seville October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

Domingo, 71, who has sung in the world’s most prestigious opera houses from La Scala to the Metropolitan Opera and also conducts, will be recognized at a ceremony on November 21, UNESCO said.

He was chosen for “his exceptional artistic career, his inestimable support for young opera musicians through the Operalia competition, and his dedication to the values and ideals of UNESCO,” the body said in a statement.

Also to be recognized on November 16 as a goodwill ambassador will be Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, 39. Scheduled to attend the ceremony is Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.

A virtuoso singing the bel canto arias of Rossini, Diego Florez is president of the social and education foundation, “El Sistema de Orquestas Infantiles y Juveniles del Peru,” which develops youth orchestras and choruses targeted at underprivileged children.

Goodwill ambassadors for UNESCO help focus attention on the cultural body’s work in education, science, culture and communication.

Reporting By Alexandria Sage, editing by Paul Casciato

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