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Placido Domingo to perform for Christchurch

16 August 2011 - 10:30 By Sapa-AFP

Spanish opera star Placido Domingo will perform a one-off benefit concert in Christchurch to raise funds for the arts in the earthquake devastated New Zealand city.

Southern Opera Trust chair Christopher Doig said Domingo was keen to help Christchurch because he understood the issues facing the city after losing four of his relatives when a massive earthquake hit Mexico City in 1985.

Doig said funds from the 6 October concert would go to the restoration of Christchurch's Court Theatre and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

"(Domingo) said that made a lot of sense to him because... having been affected himself personally by the Mexican earthquake in 1985 he had great sympathy for the people of Christchurch," Doig told Radio New Zealand.

"He agreed to substantially reduce his fee provided we made a significant return back to earthquake-stricken arts organisatons in Christchurch."

A 6.3-magnitude tremor hit New Zealand's second largest city in February, killing 181 people and destroying most of the downtown area where arts organisations were based.

The 8.1-magnitude Mexico City quake killed at least 10,000 people.