Aretha Franklin and Anthony Kearns to Perform at the Pope's Philadelphia Visit
According to Reuters, "The Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin and acclaimed Irish tenor Anthony Kearns are slated for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia later this month. The two singers will appear on Saturday, September 26, at the World Meeting of Families festival, and before the Pope's Mass on Sunday, September 27, 2015.
"It is indeed a blessing to sing in the presence of His Holiness and to the attendees of the Festival of Families in the City of Brotherly Love," Franklin told Reuters.
Mark Wahlberg will host the open-air concert on the 26th, featuring Franklin and comedian Jim Gaffigan, tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Philadelphia Orchestra, all situated along Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Joining Kearns before the Mass are the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale and soprano Magaret Keys.
Franklin, who is currently in talks to bring her life story to Broadway, is best known for her mega hits "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and placed first on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list. She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievment Award in 1994 and will be honored at the National Portrait Gallery's American Portrait Gala this November in Washington, D.C.
Kearns is best known as part of The Irish Tenors, with whom he still tours annually. Their CDs have gone Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum. The singer also has as thriving solo concert career. Kearns' ever-increasing list of Opera credits includes: Don Giovanni's Don Ottavio (Ireland), the lead inFaust (in both the US and Ireland), Carmen's Don José (Ireland), Lucia di Lammermore's Edgardo (US), Alfred in Die Fledermaus (US), Romeo for the Naples [Florida] Opera Company's Romeo & Juliet: Then and Now, Gianni Schicci's Rinuccio (Ireland), and Fenton in an Italian production of Falstaff. Anthony has sung with hundreds of the world's best symphony orchestras. This past year, Kearns sang during several Presidential Inauguration Events. Anthony Kearns' appearance was arranged by Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, LLC.