This last Wednesday night Josep Carreras celebrated his 75th birthdayand the Peralada Castle Party, one of his favorite places, paid tribute to him by awarding him his Medal of Honor. It was an evening in which the Catalan tenor played in a concert marked by emotions and nostalgia. The Barcelona interpreter was accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceuunder the direction of David Giménez, with whom Carreras has worked on numerous occasions and with great complicity, and Croatian soprano Martina Zadro as guest soloist. The concert, lasting an hour and a half in total, was divided into two parts and was marked by a lyrical program of songs by Tosti, Martínez Valls, Gardel and Cardillo, among others.
An exuberant start
The show began with the exuberant Navarra orchestra performing the ballet from Julio Massenet’s opera ‘Le Cid’, which gave way to the premiere of Joseph Carreras at night, with Tosti’s famous ‘L’última canzone’. Martin Zadro, one of today’s greatest Croatian-Slovene sopranos, took over the show by opening her performance with Verdi’s difficult and spectacular ‘Il vespri siciliani’ ‘Bolero’. After this first block of songs, the Catalan tenor took center stage and performed the passionate romance Les neus de les muntanyes from the iconic zarzuela ‘Cançó d’amor i de guerra’, and the beautiful song by Edvard Greig ‘T’estimo’, which the tenor popularized in his recitals and which has become a classic in his repertoire not to be missed tonight.
In an attempt to appease the soloists, the orchestra played one of the best-known orchestral pieces in music history, the charming ‘Valse 2’ from Shostakovich’s ‘Jazz Suite’. Next, Zadro and Carreras joined their voices in an exceptional interpretation of the sentimental and erotic waltz by Satie entitled “I want you”. The soprano excelled in the treble of the famous ‘Ah! I laugh at seeing myself so beautiful in this mirror’ by Faust de Gounod, to make way for ‘The Impossible Dream’, a song from Mitch Leigh’s musical ‘The Man of La Mancha’ performed by Joseph Carreras and you have closed the first part of the program.
Festival Medal of Honor
After a short break, the Festival awarded the Medal of Honor to the famous Catalan lyric artist, who thus joins a long list of names of singers, dancers and musicians who hold this distinction at the Empordà festival. Upon delivery, in the hands of the President of the Peralada Castle Foundation, Isabelle Suque Mateua video was projected on stage which revisited the tenor’s passage to Peralada, where he made his debut with Vicenzo Scalera on July 16, 1985, when the Festival was not yet born.
Since, Carreras has been to Peralada seven times -adding tonight, eight-. In 1988 star one of the most magical concerts in the history of the Festival for representing the tenor returns to the stage after overcoming a personal battle with leukemia. In 1989 Médée opened and the same year a recital at the Carme church with Montserrat Caballé and the Chorus and Orchestra of the National Opera of Sofia. In Peralada he also made his debut with the role of Samson in ‘Samson and Dalia’ by Saint-Saëns in 1990, the same year he offered a concert in the square of Peralada with Montserrat Caballé. In 2000, he performed with Jaume Aragall, Isabel Rey and the Orchester Symphonique du Vallès, under the direction of David Giménez.
a surprise with Euphoria
After a moment of emotion and gratitude, the artist resumed the program he had prepared for this evening with the famous ‘Serenata Sincera’ by Derevitsky and ‘Passione de Valente’, which gave rise to ‘Las hijas de Cádiz’ from Déliberes interpreted by the soprano Martina Zadro, and “The day you love me” by Carlos Gardel, sung by the Catalan tenor.
At the end of the first bars of the second part, the singer surprised with a special guest for the concert in Peralada. Josep Carreras chose to accompany Mariona Escodathe recent winner of the popular music program Euphoria. The two performed the well-known song of Lluis Llach, “A White Cloud”song influenced by the death of his mother and included in the album tsunami (1985) which the public rewarded with numerous applause. The Liceu orchestra resumed the concert with the sublime Adagio from Khachaturian’s ballet Spartacus. Curtis’ ‘Non ti scordar di me’ was sung as a duet between the tenor and soprano who made the Parc del Castell stage great, the lyrical and evocative ‘Meine Lippen sie küssen so Heiss’ from the operetta’ Giuditta’ de Lehár’ took it Zadro and ended the program Joseph Carreras with ‘Core’n grato’ by Cardillo.
One last tip
The evening ended, as everyone expected, with several rocking songs from the audience that showed, once again, a very sincere devotion and esteem for the Catalan artist. Careers premiered the encores with ‘Chitarra Romana’, the popular Italian song composed by Eldo Di Lazzaro, Zadro sang the second song, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, from the musical my lovely ladyand Mariona took over the stage with ‘La mare’, the song by Dyango that the singer from Valls also performed in the final of the competition which she eventually won.
Carreras continued to give songs with ‘O sole mío’, the famous Italian piece by Eduardo di Capua or ‘Paraules d’amor’ by Joan Manuel Serrat, the song that aroused applause from the first notes and which the tenor sang alongside Mariona Escoda . Standing audience, standing ovations and applause, the artist continues with ‘My way’, one of Frank Sinatra’s most emblematic and versioned songs, which the tenor performs with skill, and puts an end to encores that last more than a half hour. hour with ‘El brindis’ from Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’.