Famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Colombian pop superstar Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform for Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia in September.
The singers and orchestra are the first three music acts to be announced for the Festival of Families taking place on Saturday, September 26 along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City. The festival is the capstone event to the World Meeting of Families conference happening in the city Sept. 22 to 25.
"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 release.
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The announcement came as conference organizers and city leaders met in Rome to discuss logistics and plans for the events and visit by the pontiff. Organizers plan to add other high-profile acts over the next few weeks.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin will also perform the liturgical music during Pope Francis' public mass along the parkway that Sunday. They will be accompanied by a 500 person choir.