Spanish opera singer and conductor Placido Domingo on Wednesday became the new goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Domingo is being honored for his exceptional career and for "his efforts to bring classical music to the entire world," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a ceremony at the body's Paris headquarters.
"Although time is passing, this type of recognition moves me greatly," the singer told Efe, confessing his desire to begin collaborating with UNESCO, which he said is an institution "that works on so many fronts," as soon as possible.
This is the second tribute the Spaniard has received in a little more than a week, after being honored with the prestigious ring of honor by the Vienna Opera last Wednesday, and it is one more on a virtually endless list of awards he has been given.
Bokova praised Domingo's "inestimable support for young opera musicians through the Operalia competition, and his dedication to the values and ideals of UNESCO."
During his acceptance speech, in which - perhaps because of nerves - he spoke in a mixture of Spanish, French and English, the artist insisted on the importance of classical music to educate new generations.
"My dream is for classical music to be learned in all schools," the 71-year-old singer said.
In its quest for new talent, Wednesday's ceremony was followed by a benefit concert and a gala dinner at the UNESCO's headquarters where sopranos Micaela Oesta and Angel Blue, both of whom are participating in its Operalia competition, performed. EFE