* * *

JOSÉ

* * *

CARRERAS

AN  APPRECIATION

José Carreras was born in Barcelona in 1946.  After study at the Barcelona Conservatory he made his debut as Ismael in Nabucco.  The following season he was cast as Gennaro opposite Montserrat Caballé in Lucrezia Borgia  (CA548).   He went on to win the Verdi competition in Parma (1971) and sang in Ballo and Lombardi there.
After his NYCO debut as Pinkerton (1972), he sang with that company for three years in roles such as Alfredo, Rodolfo, Edgardo, Duke of Mantua and Cavaradossi.
His MET debut was as Cavaradossi in 1974.  In 1976 he made his Salzburg debut in Don Carlo.

At the outset of his career, Carreras' sweet, clear and warm lyric tenor and handsome stage presence elicited comparisons with his early idol Giuseppe di Stefano.  Carreras didn't need much urging from Karajan to push into heavier roles, tackling such weighty parts as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur as early as 1972.
I recall vividly, seeing Carreras in that role in a concert performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 1974  (CA098).   One could see the sheer physical effort needed to produce Maurizio's outpourings !

In 1988 his career came to an abrupt halt when he was stricken with leukemia. After months in a Seattle hospital and treatment including a bone marrow transplant, the disease was pronounced in remission.

He went on to make an astonishing comeback with triumphant potrayals of the title roles in Samson et Dalila and Stiffelio.  In 1990, Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti began their association as "The Three Tenors" to vast commercial success.   Part of Carreras' fees went to his Leukemia Foundation.

"I couldn't bear a boring career of going around the world year after year with a repertoire of about a dozen roles, even if I were to sing them near-perfectly," Carreras said in the mid-eighties, when he was riding the crest of his career.  "This way when my career is over I will at least have sung what I wanted to sing."

We can be grateful for his well-documented recording career and the many live performances that have been preserved for us.  They give a comprehensive view of a widely admired singer.

 

CA125

CA207

CA098

CA588

CA183

CA481

CA117

CA115

CA624

CA042

CA548

CA504

CA082

CA484

CA069

CA464

CA070

CA475

Barcelona  1972

CA696
stereo

CA609

CA739

CA983

CA990

Debut
Salzburg   1976

CA989

 

CA1003

London   1980

   
   
 

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