The Three Tenors
The Three Tenors is a name given to the Spanish singers Plácido Domingo and José Carreras and the late Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti who sang in concert under this banner during the 1990s and early 2000s. The trio began their collaboration with a performance at the ancient Baths of Caracalla, in Rome, Italy, on July 7, 1990 – the eve of the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final. Zubin Mehta conducted the orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the orchestra of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
Italian producer Mario Dradi conceived the idea of the first concert in 1990 in Rome. It was held to raise money for Carreras's foundation, the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation. It was also for his friends Domingo and Pavarotti a way to welcome Carreras back into the world of opera after his successful treatment for leukemia.
The three subsequently sang together in concerts produced by Hungarian Tibor Rudas and other producers, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to coincide the final match of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at the Champ de Mars under the Eiffel Tower during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and in Yokohama for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. They also tourned other cities around the world, usually performing in stadiums or similar large arenas.
Following the big success of the 1990 and 1994 concerts, The Three Tenors opened a world tour of concerts during 1996-1997 period. In 1996 they performed at Kasumigaoka Stadium in Tokyo, at Wembley Stadium in London, at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna, at Giants Stadium outside of New York, at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, at Olympic Stadium in Munich, at Rheinstadion in Dusseldorf and at BC Place in Vancouver on New Year's Eve. In 1997 concerts followed at Cricket Ground in Melbourne, at Skydome in Toronto, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami and at Camp Nou in Barcelona. The tour was scheduled to end in Houston with a final concert which was eventually canceled due to very low ticket sales.
Besides the '96-'97 world tour, The Three Tenors gave in addition two benefit concerts one in Modena the home town of Pavarotti in summer 1997 and one in Madrid the home town of Domingo in the following winter, in order to raise money for the rebuilding of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona as well as for the Queen Sofia Foundation.
A second series of concerts outside of the FIFA World cup events held again in 1999 including cities like Tokyo, Pretoria and Detroit followed by a Christmas concert in Vienna on December the same year. In 2000 the Three Tenors performed again live in Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Hamburg, Cleveland, Sao Paulo and Chicago and in 2001 in Seoul and Beijing inside the walls of the Forbidden City. The last Three Tenors' concert took place on 28 September 2003 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus OH.
The concerts were a huge commercial success, and were accompanied by a series of best-selling recordings, including Carreras-Domingo-Pavarotti: The Three Tenors In Concert (which holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling classical music album), The 3 Tenors in Concert 1994, The Three Tenors: Paris 1998, The Three Tenors Christmas, and The Best of The Three Tenors. Zubin Mehta conducted the performances in 1990 and 1994. The Paris concert was conducted by James Levine.
The Three Tenors repertoire ranged from opera to Broadway to Neapolitan songs and pop hits. The group's signature songs included "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's opera Turandot, usually sung by Pavarotti, and the ballad "O Sole Mio", which all three tenors typically sang together.
The Three Tenors-phenomenon was applauded by many for introducing opera to a wider audience, but some opera purists rebuked them, saying opera was not music for the masses. Some[who?] critics believe that the presentation of opera in stadiums such as Wembley, with heavy amps, contributes little to the understanding and appreciation of opera as a Gesamtkunstwerk (complete art work) as Wagner conceived it. "I understand the complaints of the purists," Domingo told an interviewer in 1998. "But I do not want the purists to go to the Three Tenors."
The success of the Three Tenors also led to antitrust action by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against Warner Bros. and Vivendi Universal. It found that they had conspired not to advertise or discount the albums of the Rome concert (released by PolyGram, later taken over by Vivendi) and of the Los Angeles concert (released by Warner Bros.) in order to protect sales of the jointly released album of the Paris concert.
The success of the Three Tenors formula led to various imitations, such as the Irish Tenors, Tenor Australis, The Canadian Tenors, the Ten Tenors, Three Tenors and a Soprano, the Three Sopranos, Three Mo' Tenors, Les Contre-Ténors (Andreas Scholl, Dominique Visse, Pascal Bertin), the 2012 "China's Three Tenors" tour (Wei Song, Dai Yuqiang, and Warren Mok), Il Divo and Yiddish and Canadian Anglican trios of religious singers both called the Three Cantors. In 2000, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton and Danny Aiello starred in the motion picture comedy OFF-KEY, loosely inspired by the Three Tenors. Stephin Merritt, Dudley Klute, and LD Beghtol have acted occasionally under the name The Three Terrors. The Brazilian samba singers Moreira da Silva, Bezerra and Dicró produced in 1995 the album "Bezerra, Moreira e Dicró - Os 3 Malandros in Concert", portraying a satirical imitation as the three "malandros", Portuguese slang for bohemian rascals. Another satirical Three Terrors, produced in June 2010, by Latma features singers who resemble Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Bashar Assad singing joyfully about using terrorism to conquer the world "from Tennessee to Teheran."
In popular culture
Throughout the Seinfeld episode "The Doll", José Carreras is repeatedly referred to as "the other guy". In The Simpsons episode "Homer of Seville", Homer becomes an opera star and gives advice to Plácido Domingo, while referring to him as his "third favorite" of the Three Tenors. The Animaniacs cartoon Three Tenors and You're Out featured the trio performing at Dodger Stadium. The Canadian sketch comedy series Royal Canadian Air Farce parodied The Three Tenors in a sketch.
List of concerts
|1||Rome, Italy||Baths of Caracalla||1990 FIFA World Cup||July 7, 1990|
|2||Los Angeles, USA||Dodger Stadium||1994 FIFA World Cup||July 16, 1994|
|3||Tokyo, Japan||Kasumigaoka Stadium||World Tour||June 29, 1996|
|4||London, UK||Wembley Stadium||World Tour||July 6, 1996|
|5||Vienna, Austria||Ernst Happel Stadion||World Tour||July 13, 1996|
|6||New York, USA||Giants Stadium||World Tour||July 20, 1996|
|7||Goteborg, Sweden||Ullevi Stadium||World Tour||July 26, 1996|
|8||Munich, Germany||Olympic Stadium||World Tour||August 3, 1996|
|9||Dusseldorf, Germany||Rheinstadion||World Tour||August 24, 1996|
|10||Vancouver, Canada||BC Place||World Tour||December 31, 1996|
|11||Toronto, Canada||Skydome||World Tour||January 4, 1997|
|12||Melbourne, Australia||Cricket Ground||World Tour||March 1, 1997|
|13||Miami, USA||Pro Player Stadium||World Tour||March 8, 1997|
|14||Modena, Italy||Stadio Alberto Braglia||Benefit concert||June 17, 1997|
|15||Barcelona, Spain||Camp Nou||World Tour||July 13, 1997|
|16||Madrid, Spain||Teatro Real||Benefit concert||January 8, 1998|
|17||Paris, France||Champ de Mars||1998 FIFA World Cup||July 10, 1998|
|18||Tokyo, Japan||Tokyo Dome||World Tour||January 9, 1999|
|19||Pretoria, South Africa||Union Buildings||World Tour||April 18, 1999|
|20||Detroit, USA||Tiger Stadium||World Tour||July 17, 1999|
|21||Vienna, Austria||Konzerthaus||Christmas concert||December 23, 1999|
|22||San Jose, USA||San Jose Arena||World Tour||December 29, 1999|
|23||Las Vegas, USA||Mandalay Bay||World Tour||April 22, 2000|
|24||Washington, D.C., USA||MCI Center||World Tour||May 7, 2000|
|25||Hamburg, Germany||Volksparkstadion||World Tour||June 16, 2000|
|26||Cleveland, USA||Browns Stadium||World Tour||June 25, 2000|
|27||Sao Paulo, Brazil||Estádio do Morumbi||World Tour||July 22, 2000|
|28||Chicago, USA||United Center||World Tour||December 17, 2000|
|29||Seoul, South Korea||Jamsil Olympic Stadium||World Tour||June 22, 2001|
|30||Beijing, China||Forbidden City||World Tour||June 23, 2001|
|31||Yokohama, Japan||Yokohama Arena||2002 FIFA World Cup||June 27, 2002|
|32||Bath, UK||Royal Crescent||World Tour||August 7, 2003|
- David B. Knight (1 January 2006). Landscapes in Music: Space, Place, And Time in the World's Great Music. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 193–. ISBN 978-0-7425-4116-0. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "Luciano Pavorotti, Plácido Domingo, and José Carreras or, as they are popularly called, the "Three Tenors," attracted worldwide attention during the 1990 World Cup when six thousand people filled the Roman Baths of Caracalla ..."
- Leon Żurawicki (2 September 2010). Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer. Springer. pp. 209–. ISBN 978-3-540-77829-5. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "Such was the case of the Three Tenors. When Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo thought of welcoming their leukemia surviving friend and operatic rival – Jose ́ Carreras – they came up with the idea of a huge ..."
- Emmis Communications (December 2000). Orange Coast Magazine. Emmis Communications. pp. 46–. ISSN 02790483. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Hugh Dauncey; Geoff Hare (1999). France and the 1998 World Cup: The National Impact of a World Sporting Event. Frank Cass. pp. 194–. ISBN 978-0-7146-4887-3. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "Accompanied by the Orchestre de Paris, Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti were heard by an estimated 150,000 ... music, synthetic image and laser concert on the Champs-de- Mars in front of a rather bigger audience than the three tenors had ..."
- Peter Wynter Bee (October 2007). People of the Day 2. People of the Day Limited. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-0-9548110-1-3. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Three Tenors in Traditional World Cup Performance. Los Angeles Times. 28 June 2002. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- Noel Hynd (1 SeptembeBath, Somersetr 2009). The Prodigy: Author's Revised Edition. Damnation Books. pp. 244–. ISBN 978-1-61572-022-4. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Orient-express Magazine. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Limited. 1996. p. 32. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "The Three Tenors' tour begins on June 29 at the Kasumigaoka National Stadium in Tokyo, then on July 6, it is Wembley Stadium in London, scene of Pavarotti's solo triumph a decade ago. Vienna Prater Stadium follows on July 1 3, the New ..."
- TIM SMITH (February 1997). 3 Tenors Ticket Sales Not Bringing Down The House. SunSentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Sue Leeman (October 1995). Thee Tenors return, Five-city tour includes stop in U.S.. The Free Lance-Star. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- RALPH BLUMENTHAL (March 1996). The Three Tenors Juggernaut. The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Melinda bargreen (December 1996). Tenors of the Times -- New Year's Eve Show in Vancouver Is More An Event Than A Concert. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Three Tenors, video artist and Vienna in the news. Desert News. December 1996. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Astrodome owners are suing Three tenors promoters. Boca Raton News. December 1997. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Ford Motor Company Brings Three Tenors to Detroit in July. PRNewswire. January 1999. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Knight Ridder (July 1999). How sweet the sound of three tenors. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Three Tenors To Perform South American Concert Debut. Brazilian show replaces Albany, N.Y., date that was canceled because of poor ticket sales.. MTV News. June 2000. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Natasha Emmons (17 April 2000). Three Tenors on the Road Again; Trio To Make. Live Webcast Debut.(Brief Article). Amusement Business. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Mattalia Glendy (21 December 2000). Three Tenors Concert on Cold Night Helps Aids Foundation. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- The Three Tenors in Seoul. Meyer Sound. June 2001. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Three Tenors take Bath. CNN.com. August 2003. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Al Lieberman; Patricia Esgate (2002). The Entertainment Marketing Revolution: Bringing the Moguls, the Media, and the Magic to the World. FT Press. pp. 213–. ISBN 978-0-13-029350-3. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "On occasion, each of the three would accompany a popular singing star on a CD, such as the collaboration of John Denver and Plácido Domingo. But these ... in front of a world-class orchestra led by a star conductor like James Levine or Zubin Mehta that "The Three Tenors" were born. ... Performances in Athens, Paris, and New York resulted in platinum CD sales, gold VHS sales, licensing fees for HBO ..."
- Gareth Malone (28 April 2011). Music for the People: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music. HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-0-00-739618-4. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "The association with football must have helped it, but achieving a Guinness world record for best-selling classical music with the Three Tenors in Concert CD shows that a great tune, well sung, has mass appeal even if it is classical."
- Graham Betts (1 October 2005). Complete UK Hit Albums 1956-2005. HarperCollins UK. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-00-720532-5. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Dan Fox (1 July 2002). Mandolin Gold: 100+ of the Most Popular Selections Arranged for Mandolin. Alfred Music Publishing. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-1-4574-1716-0. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "No, the name of this piece is not "O Solo Mio."The correct title means "Oh, my sun." The Three Tenors always got ecstatic cheers when they sang this famous Italian song, and as "It's Now Or Never," the song was a hit for Elvis ..."
- Brian Castles-Onion (1 May 2008). Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas. Exisle Publishing. pp. 239–. ISBN 978-1-77559-028-6. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "Is it something of a paradox that while price structures within opera houses increase opera's élitism and make it less accessible to the masses, phenomena like the Three Tenors and Opera in the Park actually take it to a wider audience?"
- The Three Terrors, June 18, 2010, Powerline .
- "A Requiem for Classical Music?" from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Regional Review - discusses the influence of the Three Tenors' success on the classical music market
- FTC press release on the "Tenors" antitrust action
- Placido Domingo - My Greatest Roles Collection of televised performances from the legendary Spanish tenor
- José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation