Carreras, 73, adds two more years to his farewell tour

Carreras, 73, adds two more years to his farewell tour


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2019

The tenor announced in February 2016 that he was on a farewell tour.

It was supposed to run for a year.

This week, he said it will continue until 2022 at least, before he applies himself to other interests.




  • Alexander says:

    grandda needs some lettuce, what’s wrong with that? I wish him well for sure

  • Mike Schachter says:

    There is a long history of singers’ farewell tours going on and on and on…

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Indeed. Christa Ludwig and Kiri Te Kanawa instantly come to mind.

      At least Carerras deserves some slack because he has apparently made a tremendous difference by his eponymous leuchemia foundation has made a difference.

  • Nik says:

    How does he actually sound these days?

    • YS says:

      Not very good, to be honest. And he looks quite old….
      This evening there will be his Show against leukemia in german tv at german time 8:15 pm, so in 6 hours 20 min at mdr:

      • Nik says:

        The last time I saw him perform live was more than 20 years ago in a recital of Italian songs. It was enjoyable, but his voice had already lost much of its lustre, and the entire programme was transposed into an ultra-safe range.

        • Robin Worth says:

          You may well be correct : I heard him in recital, close-up in a small venue, in the late 80s and it was not the same voice as before his illness. This said, his Stiffelio (which I messed)at the ROH in, I think ,1993 got very favourable reviews

          • Nik says:

            Actually the best I ever heard him was at his return to the Vienna Staatsoper following his illness, it was Carmen in January 1990. He was in fabulous voice and sang as if his life depended on it (which was probably how he felt). An unforgettable experience. By all accounts he was in very good nick for a few years in the early ’90s, but sadly it didn’t last much longer after that. Probably as much, if not more, to do with his unreliable technique as with his illness.

    • sycorax says:

      Don’t ask.

  • pageturner says:

    He obviously needs the money, what with having been so under-paid for years by the world’s top opera houses, etc. The pension fund is probably running a bit low, but at least he’s not starting out as a baritone just yet. That says something, when you consider others keep going on and on and on without much care for how they sound.

    • Nik says:

      An unfair and unnecessary comparison. Apart from being in the Three Tenors together, Carreras’s career has been very different (and much more limited) than Domingo’s, and going on a farewell recital tour is not the same thing as hogging all the plum jobs in the opera world.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    Artists should be careful not to outwear their farewell.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    All the best Jose. I well remember the mid 80s when he was on the brink and dealing with Leukemia. At the time I regarded it as a miracle of medicine that he survived – but he went on to bigger things!!

    When we listen to the catastrophists about the planet they’ve all conveniently forgotten the great leaps forward in medicine, science, raised standards of living which have made ours the greatest time to be alive in world history.

    Viva Jose, and other survivors of near-death experiences.

  • Nick2 says:

    Whatever one’s feelings about his voice in recent years/decades, the fact is he has given pleasure to millions and raised huge amounts for his leukemia foundation. He is also held in great affection in at least some parts of the world. I recall a Suntory Hall recital in Tokyo. At the intermission, some ladies came to the stage front and carefully laid out 150 roses!

    I saw Sinatra on his third farewell tour. Pavarotti’s one year farewell tour was also to have been extended when demand vastly exceeded the number of available dates. Sadly illness caught up with him and that tour lasted exactly a year with his last-ever paid public performances taking place in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan. He did appear a few weeks later at the opening of the Turin Winter Olympics. But we know from the book written by his old Modena friend, coach and sometime conductor Leone Magiera that the sound for that appearance was recorded in a studio days in advance and the video mimed and recorded at the final rehearsal. A South American tour and concerts in England scheduled for the first half of 2006 were all postponed before he was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

    Carreras will likely have earned many tens of millions from the 30 or so Three Tenors jamboree events. I cannot believe he needs the money. But if by extending his tour for another two years he continues to draw sell-out crowds and raise even more awareness and cash for leukemia research and bone-marrow transplants, I for one applaud him.