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.