Maestro Placido Domingo sang for St. John Paul II at Poznań International Fair

On Sunday, April 27, Poznań International Fair hosted an extraordinary concert of Placido Domingo. The world-famous tenor sang on the occasion of canonization of John Paul II and inaugurated the celebration of 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. The organizers of the concert watched by over 7 thousand people were: the Poznań Music Theater, the City of Poznań and the Prestige MJM agency. The artist was accompanied by famous American sopranos Micaela Oeste and Angel Joy Blue, Polish singer Justyna Steczkowska, as well as the artist’s son, Placido Domingo Jr. The orchestra was conducted by Maestro Eugene Kohn. – It is great prestige for Poznań. We are glad that such an important historic moment will be specially celebrated in the capital of Greater Poland – said Ryszard Grobelny, the Mayor of Poznań, during the press conference announcing the event. Placido Domingo talked earlier about the day of canonization of John Paul II: – It will be a great day for Poland – and he recounts his meeting with the Polish Pope: – I remember the day when he became the Pope, in October 1978. I had a concert in San Francisco. The journalist who was interviewing me asked what I thought about selecting a Pole to be a pope. Believe it or not but I said to him: in my view this is the beginning of the end of communism – he said. Placido Domingo met John Paul II many times since that time. He sang for him and during their last meeting he told him about the idea to make a record with interpretations of his poems. – The Pope agreed – the Spanish singer told the journalists. This was the origin of the record Amore Infinito, the songs from which we could admire during the Sunday’s concert entitled Poland Began Here. The artist’s son, Placido Domingo Jr., was not able to hide his emotions – It is the first time for me to sing with my father and two sopranos. It is a very important project for me. It is especially important because of the Pope. I have composed three songs based on his poetry and I want to use this opportunity to sing them together with my dad – he added. In the first part of the concert the listeners enjoyed the works composed to the poems by Karol Wojtyła collected on the record Amore Infinito . – I really admired the Pope for his devotion to the cause of the Church and to social problems. We must remember that he was not only the head of the Church but also a sportsman, actor and a poet – said Placido Domingo on Friday during a press conference. Also during the concert he expressed his happiness that on that very day he was able to perform for the Polish audience. He emphasized that his works composed to the poetry of John Paul II for many people are a great opportunity to get to know him and discover a spiritual man and a fantastic poet. – These poems contain a religious element but they also touch the social sphere – he said. Together with Justyna Steczkowska, the great tenor sang the anthem of the youth Abba Father , written by two Poznanians: Jacek Sykulski and a Dominican, father Jana Góra. The second part of the performance featured the works of Giuseppe Verdi, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss. Domingo sang Giacomo Puccini’s Angel di Dio together with the choir. It was the premiere performance of this work. On the stage the great artists were wonderfully accompanied by the Adam Mickiewicz University Choir and the Orchestra of the Poznań Music Theater. The concert was conducted by Eugene Kohn, an artist born in New York who in the recent years has been sharing his career between symphony and opera music. He made his debut in Metropolitan Opera with Giaconda starring Renata Scotto, which started a series of productions on the stage of the legendary MET, as well as in the opera houses of Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Paris, Cologne and others. In the opera world, Eugene Kohn is famous as a great pianist and accompanist – the start of his artistic career is adorned with the famous names of singer he worked with – Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Giuseppe di Stefano, Luciano Pavarotti and, in the recent years, Galina Wiszniewska and Plácido Domingo. Before the beginning of the concert, the Director of the Music Theater, Przemysław Kieliszewski, stressed that the event also inaugurated the celebration of the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. He reminded that the title of the concert Poland Began Here refers to the words of John Paul II spoken in Poznań in 1997. Maestro Placido Domingo once again proved that the concert in Poznań was something more for him than just another performance. It is worth stressing that the artist arrived in the capital of Greater Poland two days before the concert so that he, his wife and his son could visit the Museum Brama Poznania ¬ and the famous cathedral in Ostrów Tumski. Source:,,,, fot.