Collectively these men are known as the Three Tenors, and are possibly amongst the greatest living male opera singers, and certainly the most famous.

Their first performance was in Rome on July 7, 1990. Carreras had recently recovered from treatment for leukaemia and the concert was to be his comeback to the world of opera. And what a comeback. Backed by an orchestra and chorus of over 200 musicians, the three singers started with Verdi's I vespri Siciliani and a phenomenon was born.

The three tenors have achieved what many might have once thought impossible: revitalised the public's ear for opera. Not just in traditional opera-going countries such as Italy and France, but even in the UK and USA where opera has usually been considered an upper class form of music, not for "the masses".

During the 1994 football World Cup the three tenors performed at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in front of a television audience of two billion and a live audience of 60,000 including Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra, Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now having sold millions of CDs worldwide, they are without a doubt the best-selling classical artists of all time, and their occasional concerts sell out within hours, wherever on the planet they might be held.

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