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Josep Maria Carreras Coll, better known as José Carreras, is a Spanish operatic tenor best renowned for his performances in Donizetti, Verdi, and Puccini operas.
José Carreras’s Biography
Josep Maria Carreras Coll, better known as José Carreras, was born on December 5, 1946, in Barcelona, Spain.
Carreras had a natural ability for singing from an early age, and his love of music grew stronger after seeing Mario Lanza in The Great Caruso at the age of six.
At the age of eight, he began taking piano and voice lessons and performed his first public appearance, singing “La donna è mobile” on Spanish National Radio.
In 1958, he made his operatic debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, playing Trujamán in Manuel de Falla’s El retablo de Maese Pedro. He continued to pursue music and voice throughout his adolescence.
Carreras’ career accelerated in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1971, he made his worldwide debut, performing in major opera houses in Europe and North America.
He collaborated with some of the world’s most famous sopranos and mezzo-sopranos, including Montserrat Caballé, Katia Ricciarelli, and Teresa Berganza. Carreras also worked closely with conductor Herbert von Karajan, who had a significant impact on his career.
During this time, Carreras broadened his repertoire to include zarzuela, musical, and operetta tunes. He also dabbled in movies, playing 19th-century Spanish tenor Julián Gayarre in Romanza Final (1986). Carreras’ career, however, took an unexpected turn in 1987 when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
He recovered from the disease after undergoing intensive treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and a bone marrow transplant. He returned to the operatic and concert stages after his recovery and continued to perform and record.
Carreras rose to prominence in 1990 as one of the Three Tenors, alongside Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. The three went on to become one of the most successful classical music acts in history after performing a series of huge concerts.
Carreras also dedicated himself to humanitarian work as the head of the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation, which he founded after overcoming leukaemia himself.
The foundation’s primary missions include clinical research, bone marrow donation campaigns, and social services for leukaemia patients and their families.
Carreras expanded his repertoire in the 2000s to include art songs, Neapolitan songs, and light classical music. He also performed in charity performances and cooperated with performers from outside the classical music field.
He announced in 2009 that he would no longer perform principal opera parts but would still be available for recitals. Carreras has garnered various accolades and distinctions for his musical and philanthropic activities throughout his career.
He has received numerous honours, including the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy, the Légion d’honneur, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and will be remembered as one of the finest tenors of all time.
Who Are José Carreras’s Grandchildren?
José Carreras has two children and five grandchildren; however, there are no details about them as their identities and information have been kept private.