WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — An internationally renowned opera singer from West Palm Beach will help kick off the start of Spring Training in South Florida this weekend.
Leo Williams will sing the national anthem on Saturday when the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals take on the Houston Astros at the FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches.
“I definitely take it as a medal of pride to be invited to do this,” said Williams.
The game not only marks the official start of Spring Training, but it's also a rematch of the 2019 World Series when the Nationals beat the Astros in seven games.
Williams is a professional opera tenor who has performed in Europe, Australia and South Africa since 2009. The 31-year-old recently returned home to West Palm Beach to help his grandmother care for his great-grandmother, and also to do community engagement throughout the city. He has aspirations to work for the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, calling it a personal mission.
“It’s on the shoulder of my community that I can stand and do the things that I have been able to do and achieve,” said Williams. “If we’re to move forward in pride we have to kind of stand up in history. We need to be well aware and also well informed.”
For now he’s practicing for opening day and says fans should be prepared for a “unique rendition” of the Star Spangled Banner.
“You have to know what key you go in because that dictates how low it goes and also how high it goes. It takes micromanaged details to really do it well,” Williams said. “It’s patriotism.”
“We are very proud that Leo is a member of Palm Beach Opera, and that he will be representing our organization with this appearance, which was arranged directly between FITTEAM Ballpark and Palm Beach Opera, and assigned to Leo as a member of our Chorus roster,” added James Barbato, Palm Beach Opera Director of Artistic Administration.
WATCH WILLIAMS SING:
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Rising stars from the Palm Beach Opera’s renowned Benenson Young Artist program will also be performing the National Anthem at the Ballpark on Feb. 26, 27, and 28 leading to the opera’s performance next weekend of The Barber of Seville.
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For more info on the Palm Beach Opera and other performances visit: https://pbopera.org/