November 21, 2012

Meet Placido the Ambassador

An unexpected invitation and I found myself within the United Nations to celebrate the nomination of Placido Domingo as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. While we took our places - pretending to be UN representatives - I couldn't help thinking: "Just look at us mums, the ten of us could represent the UN easily". From Tahiti, the Philippines, across Europe to the US, we were a colourful bunch.

I don't usually succumb to the fame of superstars but Placido Domingo is a living legend. He gracefully accepted his award. Placido Domingo’s appointment comes in recognition 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."

Unfortunately we did not have the honour of hearing the maestro sing, however, he presented the winners of his Operalia competition and the musicians involved in his development programme at the Washington Opera. Sopranos Micaëla Oeste and Angel Blue performed jazz, Broadway and opera favourites with pianist Timothy End.

The maestro did remind us to show our children the music: "Let them realize that music goes beyond pop. Instuments are magical and classical music makes them come alive."

What impressed me most, however, is that the entire ceremony was held in three languages. Marisa Berenson (Mistress of ceremonies), Irina Bekova (UNESCO's General Director) and Placido Domingo continously switched from French to Spanish to English, sometimes even within the same sentence. Oh boy, do I feel at home here! Expat Girl has been asking me what she should do when she becomes big. Maybe I should encourage her to work for the UNESCO?

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