The Three Tenors
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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 (decade). 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 first conceived the idea of the concert. The first concert was held to raise money for Carreras's foundation; it was also for friends Domingo and Pavarotti a way to welcome their friend back into the world of opera after his successful treatment of 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 World Cup FIFA 1994, at the Champ de Mars under the Eiffel Tower during the World Cup FIFA 1998 and in Yokohama for the World Cup 2002 FIFA. Also played in other cities around the world, usually performing in stadiums or other large spaces. In Chile, a similar presentation was made, under the name Chilean 3 Tenors sing to Santiago, inspired by the performances by Domingo, Pavarotti and Carreras at the end of the FIFA World Cup Italy 1990, USA 1994, France 1998 and Korea Japan 2002.
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 album's best-selling classical music), The 3 Tenors In Concert 1994, The Three Tenors: Paris 1998, The Three Tenors Christmas, 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 millions (of people). Some 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."
Legal issue 
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."
Popular culture 
In the Japanese anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, the Three Emperors of Yliaster are individually each named for one of the Three Tenors in the original version (in the dubbed version, they are named differently).
The Animaniacs cartoon Three Tenors And You're Out featured the trio performing at Dodger Stadium and angering Slappy Squirrel in the process because she promised her nephew Skippy to take him to a baseball game, so she intentionally screws up the concert.
In the Earthworm Jim (TV series) episode "Upholstered Peril", Jim describes the Three Tenors as "900 pounds of classy singing".
The Canadian sketch comedy series Royal Canadian Air Farce parodied The Three Tenors in a sketch by featuring them singing nursery rhymes & more contemporary hit songs like Louie Louie & Life Is A Highway, along with parodying Luciano Pavarotti's weight and (similarly to Seinfeld) referring to Jose Carreras as "the other guy."
- "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
- The Friends of José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation
- The Three Terrors, June 18, 2010, Powerline .