One of the world's musical superstars, opera tenor Placido Domingo, will perform a single show in New Zealand - and it will be in Christchurch.
The Spanish-born tenor, who lost four family members in the 1985 Mexican earthquake, has opted to make his Christchurch concert a fundraiser for two quake-hit institutions, the Court Theatre and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
The October 6 show will also be a tribute to Southern Opera Trust chair Christopher Doig, who persuaded Domingo to be Southern Opera's patron when the company began several years ago.
Now, you probably don't think of us as culture vultures, but we are already looking at our diary to see if we can make it to Christchurch for what will be a memorable concert. We have family members who have been very involved in the Court Theatre, displaced from their premises in the Arts Centre by the February 22nd earthquake. We have enjoyed a number of performances at the Court Theatre, which needs to raise over $4 million if it is to reopen as hoped in December, in alternative premises.
Domingo has postponed another engagement to perform in Christchurch, and the timing of the concert is no accident; read on:
Doig said it was "incredibly rare" for New Zealand to get agreement for such a visit, "let alone have him prepared to give back to the city in this way".
Doig said the timing of this event, just before the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, was significant. " Since Christchurch is not now playing a part in the RWC, it's great to have a different event of international significance at that time."
The man, known as the King of Opera, has won many international awards for his work to expand the audience for opera and help the world's less fortunate.
This will be a wonderful occasion, and if we can, we'll be heading down to it. In the meantime, here to whet the appetite is Placido Domingo at his finest:
Well done to everyone who has pulled this event together. We're sure that it will be a huge success, and will be another step in putting Christchurch back on the map.