By Sean Ryan
Irish soprano Margaret Keys has said that she is "very excited"’ about performing for Pope Francis tonight in the US.
The talented Derry-born soprano will sing for Pope Francis as part of the second day of the 'World Festival of Families' being held in Philadelphia alongside performers known internationally.
She said: "I am humbled and honoured to be able to perform at this very special world event and absolutely delighted to be performing for the Pope.
"It is an ambition of mine that I had always thought would not be possible, and something my late dad dreamed of me doing.
"I believe my dad continues to guide me in some way, and this performance will be for him; his spirit will be with me as I perform from the Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - in front of an estimated audience of 800,000 - 1.2 million."
Explaining how the opportunity arose, Keys explained: "I performed at the Vatican Radio while I was in Rome last year, and I believe that one opportunity leads to another.
"Performing for the Pope became a greater ambition of mine following my father’s death, and it still doesn’t feel real that it is actually happening.
"My mum will travel with me to America and it means a great deal to me that she will be there."