Image One: Consul General of Italy Francesco Genuardi and Sarah Brightman
Image Two: Sarah Brightman and partner Charles L. Beames
On June 2nd, 2016, Sarah Brightman was bestowed the prestigious Italian decoration 'Cavaliere' in the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, by the Consul General of Italy, Francesco Genuardi. The private ceremony was held on the occasion of the Festa della Repubblica Italiana (The Italian National Day) at the Consulate General of Italy in New York City.
During the ceremony, Genuardi expressed, the motivation of Brightman's distinction: "Ms. Sarah Brightman who with her extraordinary voice and with her excellent music has contributed in an excellent way in spreading the Italian language and culture at a high level worldwide".
The Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italian: Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana) was founded as the senior order of knighthood by the second President of the Italian Republic, Luigi Einaudi in 1951. The highest ranking honor of the Republic, it is awarded for "merit acquired by the nation" in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities and for long and conspicuous service in civilian and military careers. The post-nominal letters for the order are OMRI.