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Online petition promoted rethink by Major League Baseball, and the opera singer is now due to perform on her home turf.
Star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will sing the American national anthem at tonight’s Game 7 of the US baseball World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants following a Facebook and Twitter campaign by her fans.
DiDonato, who grew up in Kansas City, was asked by Major League Baseball earlier this month to sing during yesterday's Game 6. However, she was forced to turn their request down due to a prior commitment - teaching children in a middle-school master class.
Fans began a petition with the hashtag #LetJoyceSing, calling for DiDonato to perform at another game in the series. The social media campaign gained further momentum when DiDonato won the most votes in a poll on the Kansas City Star’s website. National media got hold of the story and shortly afterwards, DiDonato confirmed in a video to fans that Major League Baseball had asked her to sing at Game 7 of the baseball final - in front of her hometown crowd.
The prospect of singing at the World Series is particularly significant for DiDonato, an avid baseball fan. Watching a Royal’s home game with her siblings is one of her favourite childhood memories, especially as it took months for her father to save up the money for their tickets. In an interview she said: “I’m sure the seats will be better this time.”
DiDonato added: “I just love that the sports and arts community will converge in magnificent fashion on the world’s stage. I’ve never seen Kansas City in better form.” The Royals come into tonight’s game off the back of a 10-0 victory against the Giants.
In the past year DiDonato has toured Europe and America and has recently released ‘Drama Queens ’, a CD of royal arias from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Watch DiDonato’s video thanking her fans here: