Alongside Colombian pop star Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Italian classical tenor Andrea Bocelli will be singing for Pope Francis in Philadelphia this September during his US visit.
On Tuesday, the World Meeting of Families confirmed the highly-regarded tenor’s upcoming performance. Bocelli is going to sing as one of the first three musical acts for the Festival of Families on Saturday, September 26.
Bocelli was born with poor eyesight then became blind at the age of 12 following a football accident.
He has gone on to sell over 80 million albums worldwide and was given a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2014, Bocelli also received Billboard’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“To have Andrea Bocelli, one of the world’s great vocalists, and Juanes, one of the most popular performers in all of Latin America, come to Philadelphia for the Festival of Families is an extraordinary gift,” Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, said in a statement.
“And to be able to have these incredible individuals perform with our hometown jewel in The Philadelphia Orchestra brings this event together in spectacular fashion,” Farrel added. “Without a doubt, these performances will not only capture the hearts and imaginations of the thousands who will watch them live on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway but also the millions around the world who will watch on television and online.”
The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, will also perform the liturgical music during the public Mass on Sunday, September 27.
Apart from Bocelli, more high-profile acts are expected to be announced for the event within the coming weeks.
The recent announcement came as Mayor Michael Nutter, conference organizers, city leaders and other delegates went to Rome, Italy to finalize plans and logistics for the upcoming papal visit.