One of the largest audiences ever to fill Palma's Auditorium assembled on Thursday evening for the appearance of Josep Carreras; every regular seat in this large hall was taken and in addition there were some 250 extra seats on the stage. HM Queen Sofia was among those present and she was accorded an especially warm welcome by the audience. Josep Carerras is a living legend. His professional career began at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, in 1970 and he has performed in virtually every one of the world's leading opera houses. My own memories of him include his Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly and Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore at Covent Garden in the mid 1970s, and I recall him a little later at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in Tosca and Don Carlo. His reputation as a great operatic tenor was already secure when he was stricken with leukaemia in 1987 and his career seemed at an end; but he battled bravely against his illness and won. With the help of the phenomenally successful Three Tenors concerts, with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, beginning in 1990, he reestablished himself with the public and began what has become a second career. His operatic appearances are now limited but he continues to delight audiences worldwide with the kind of concert he gave in Palma.

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