Ashutosh Khandekar

Happy Birthday José Carreras

10:58, 5th December 2019

The celebrated Spanish tenor, who is 73 today, was Opera Now’s cover artist for our 30th Anniversary Issue in April this year.

José Carreras awakened a global audience of millions to the power of opera at a televised concert in Rome on the eve of the 1990 World Cup. The event marked the launch of the Three Tenors, a phenomenon which saw Carreras propelled to international superstardom alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo.

At the height of his powers, José Carreras had the world of opera at his feet. Then he was struck down by a disease that would alter the course of his life and change his priorities.

He was just 42 years old when, during the filming of La bohème in Paris, the diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was made, giving him a one in ten chance of survival. After almost a year of gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, he recovered fully and returned to the stage and the concert hall. His last operatic performance was at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia, in January 2015.

Opera Now’s associate editor Helena Matheopoulos met Carreras at his home in Barcelona earlier this year. Read her candid account of a life and career that has triumphed over adversity in the April 2019 edition of Opera Now. Subscribe today for full access to our 30 year archive, or download the Opera Now app on iTunes.

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