27/02/2012

Fa 24 anys Josep tornava a casa després de lluitar contra la leucèmia: el record d'en Miquel Pérez (Comenta'ns el teu record)

“Aquell 21 de Juliol”
El record d’en Miquel Pérez


Miquel Pérez è un amico molto ammirato, un profondo conoscitore dell'opera e dei suoi interpreti, nonché autore di una preziosa biografia del tenore Hipólito Lázaro. Ricordo ancora l'occasione in cui l'ho conosciuto, quando Teresa, responsabile del Blog Villazonista, ci ha presentati al Palau de la Música Catalana, durante l'intervallo di un concerto di Natale di Josep. Essendo consapevole della sua predilezione per le voci che sanno comunicare, non potevo non chiedergli un contributo: naturalmente non ha deluso le mie aspetattive. Il suo ricordo occupa una posizione privilegiata nel libro "Ritorna Vincitor", in quanto ne conclude la parte ufficiale. Oggi, 24 anni dopo il miracoloso ritorno a casa di Josep, ve lo voglio proporre. Moltes gràcies Miquel!

“Dicen que en la distancia está el olvido” … diu una popular cançó i la veritat és que, tot i ser la regla, l’excepció confirma que no sempre es cumpleix, especialment en aquells fets que van suposar en un mateix una càrrega emocional important. És el meu cas amb tots aquells fets que es van produir un any abans del dia 21 de Juliol de 1988.
Aquell dia una persona, un tenor, un català, es retrobava amb la seva ciutat i trencava un any de malsons.
Recordo molt bé el sentir de tots els afeccionats del món de l’òpera que en aquells meravellosos anys compartiem hores i emocions al Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Corria el mes de Juliol de 1987 i jo, amb 17 anys, havia descobert ja una de les veus que més em transmetien, que més m’arribaven. Tot just habia tingut l’oportunitat de fruirla en unes extraordinàries funcions de Carmen al Liceu. Después de la primera funció, ho vaig tenir clar, ja era “Carrerista”. Amb ell no només m’unia aquesta afinitat musical, aquest saber portar unes emocions a través de notes, aquesta capacitat per donar sentit a un texte; a més era català i n’exercia i això, ho confesso, encara me’l feia més proper.
Però aquell mes de Juliol van començar les preocupants notícies, els comentaris entre afeccionats pel seu abandonament a les sessions d’enregistrament del nou film del director Luigi Comencini, l’adaptació cinematogràfica de “La Bohème” de Giacomo Puccini. Tot eren rumors i preocupacions que tristament es van confirmar els primers dies d’agost d’aquell mateix any. L’opinió pública es va conmocionar com només ho fa en aquells moments en que simplement trasmet el sentir popular.
I és que aquella malaltia, com anys després succeirïa amb l’incendi del Liceu, arribava i conmovia a tots, afeccionats a l’òpera o no.
La temporada liceista va començar però els pasadissos del vell Teatre anaven plens de comentaris més enllà de la funció que toqués, comentaris de preocupació i desitjos de recuperació envers a una estrella de l’òpera, sí, però també envers Josep Maria Carreras, aquell que feia cua a les escales del carrer de Sant Pau per poder escoltar els seus ídols, tal i com anys después fariem nosaltres per escoltar-lo a ell.
L’ambient no era bò, però sortosament, poc a poc, les notícies que anàven arribant des d’aquells llunyans Estats Units portàven esperança. Després el trasplantament, el llarg tractament i la recuperació.
Corria el mes de Febrer de 1988 i la televisió ens va emocionar amb les imatges del seu retorn, amb l’aplaudiment de tota la gent que el va anar a rebre espontàniament a l’aeroport de Barcelona i amb ells ens emocionàvem i aplaudiem de casa nostra.
Ara els passadissos del vell Teatre ja no transportàven aquell pessimisme de mesos abans, ara tots comentàvem que aviat, ben aviat, el tornariem a tenir entre nosaltres, el tornariem a aplaudir en aquella sala. No sabiem, però, quan de proper ho teniem.
Encara ressonaven aquests comentaris la nit del 4 de març de 1988. Fruiem d’una nit excepcional que, sense saber-ho encara, es tornaria en memorable. Erem allà, aplaudint Plácido Domingo, Renata Scotto i Vicenç Sardinero en una gloriosa versió de Fedora quan Domingo va fer callar el públic i va dir aquelles paraules ja grabades en la nostra memoria emotiva: “Quiero pedir un fuerte aplauso para una persona que se encuentra aquí entre nosotros, mi compañero José Carreras” . L’esclat fou un, sol i unànim, d’un públic que mirava al seu voltant intentant localitzar-lo. Mentre, Domingo, el descubria allà mig amagat, darrera el teló, intentant passar desapercebut. El destí, però li tenia reservat un altre paper aquella nit. Els seus companys el van portar davant el públic i en un gest extraordinari, van marxar deixant-lo sol en escena mentre ell els hi deia : ¡No me hagáis esto!.  Allà, Josep Carreras, tenor, però sobretot Josep Carreras, persona es va trobar cara a cara amb un públic que li va dir “benvingut a casa” de l’única manera que sabia: amb una de les ovacions més emocionants i sentides que mai s’ha donat en el nostre Teatre.
Confesso que les llàgrimes em van córrer per la cara com les de tantíssima altre gent que, dempeus, donàvem la benvinguda a un dels nostres.
“Dicen que en la distancia está el olvido” diu la cançó… depèn, hi han coses que el temps no pot esborrar.

Josep Carreras va voler tornar tot allò que la gent li va estar trasmetent a través dels llargs dies de la seva convalecencia, tota aquella estimació i afecte, i ho va voler fer com millor ell savia fer: cantant. Les notícies sobre la seva reaparició professional es succeien i tots ens preguntàvem si la malaltia hauria afectat la seva veu, si ara que haviem recuperat el més important , la persona, recuperariem també el tenor.
I finalment es va anunciar. El 21 de Juliol Carreras cantaria en un concert gratuït que oferiria a la seva ciutat, al seu públic.
Recordo perfectament aquella tarda, còm oblidarla?. El concert es va anunciar a les 22 hrs i jo a les 6 de la tarda ja era a l’Arc del Triomf. Sort d’això perquè 150.000 persones van omplir tota l’avinguda del Passeig de Sant Joan en una mostra d’estimació sense precedents. Fou una reacció popular que testimoniava la profunda sensibilitat d’una societat envers aquells que se sent seus, més enllà de la professió que tinguin.
Van ser 14 els fragments que va cantar aquella nit on la seva veu va tornar a sonar tal i com la recordàvem, tendra, càlida com sempre. No importava el que cantés, importava que ho fes, que tornés a ser allà davant un públic. Tots els fragments van ser perfectament escollits i tots van tenir una especial significació.
Molts van ser els moments d’alta emotivitat. La seva interpretació de l’Emigrant va posar un nus al coll de tots els presents quan va pronunciar les paraules “estic malalt”; l’aparició de Montserrat Caballé a l’escena fou sincera i emocionant però si recordo especialment un moment és , curiosament, el d’un silenci. El que Carreras va tenir en sortir a l’escenari i enfrontar-se al micròfon on havia de dirigir unes paraules, incapaç de parlar, fent un esforç inhumà per controlar unes emocions que ningú voliem controlar.
I llavors tot va tornar a la normalitat. La seva veu va sonar i tots vam tenir la seguretat que havia tornat.
Per cert, la primera interpretació, l’escollida per tornar, la va cantar en català i el seu títol fou:  “T’estimo”.

Com no podia ser de cap altre manera.


ENGLISH

Miquel Pérez is a very admired friend, an expert on opera and its interpreters, and author of an excellent biography of the tenor Hipólito Lázaro. I still remember when I first met him, when Teresa, responsible of the Blog Villazonista, introduced us at the Palau de la Música Catalana, during the intermission of a Christmas concert of Josep. Being aware of his predilection for voices that can communicate feelings, I could not but ask for his contribution: of course did not disappoint my expectations. His memory occupies a privileged position in the book "Ritorna Vincitor", as it concludes official part. Today, 24 years after the miraculous comeback home to Josep, I would like to propose it to you. Moltes gràcies Miquel!

"They say that all that lays in distance has been forgotten" ... says a popular song, but the truth is that, despite being the rule, the exception confirms that it is not always true, especially in those events which involved self-important emotional burden. It is my case with all such events that occurred one year before the day July 21, 1988.
One day a person, a tenor, a Catalan, was again with your city and broke a year of nightmares.
I remember well the feelings of all fans of the opera world in those wonderful years sharing time and emotions in the Gran Teatre del Liceu. In the month of July 1987 I was 17, had already found out one of the most delivering voices with the greatest power of communication. I had just had the opportunity to enjoy it in extraordinary Carmen functions at the Liceu. After the first show it was already clear for me that I was a "carrerista" (Carreras fan).
But it wasn't only the musical affinity, the ability to communicate emotions through some notes, this ability to make sense of a text, what attracted me: especially he was excercising Catalan, and this, I confess, made ​​me even closer.
But that July came very worrying news, comments between fans about the fact that he had the recording sessions of the new film by the director Luigi Comenicini, the film adaptation of "La Bohème" by Giacomo Puccini. 
All was rumours and concerns that were sadly confirmed in early August of that year. Public opinion was shocked like only in such moments in which simply transmits the popular feeling. And that disease, as years later would happen with the Liceu burning, arrived and shocked us all, opera lovers or not.
The Liceu season began, but the corridors of the old theatre were full of comments that went far beyond the performance on stage: they were comments of worry and desires of recovery for an opera star, yes, but also for Josep Maria Carreras, the same person who had been standing in queue on the steps of Sant Pau Street to listen to his idols, like we would do years later because of him.
The atmosphere was not good, but luckily, slowly, the news coming from distant U.S. brought hope. After that, the transplantation, the long treatment and recovery. It was the month of February 1988 and we were touched by television images of his comeback, with the applause of all the people who spontaneously went to the Prat Airport to welcome him, and we were applauding with them from our home.
Now the corridors of the old theater were no longer carrying that pessimism of months before: all of us commented that soon, very soon,  he would have been again with us, that we would applaude him again in that hall. But we didn't know how he was close to us.
These comments still echoed the night of March 4, 1988. We were enjoying an outstanding night that, without being aware of it, would turn in memorable. We were there, clapping Plácido Domingo, Renata Scotto and Vincent Sardinero's version of Fedora on a glorious Sunday when Domingo silenced the audience and said those words because, recorded in our emotional memory: "I would like you to welcome a person who is here with us, my colleague José Carreras." The reation was one and unanimous, the audience was looking around trying to locate him. Meanwhile, Domingo, showed him, hidden behind the curtains, trying to pass unnoticed. But destiny reserved a different role that night. 
His colleagues brought him  in front of the public in an extraordinary gesture, left the scene leaving him alone, while he told them: "Please, don't do that!". There, Josep Carreras, tenor, but most of all Josep Carreras person met face to face with an audience that was saying to him "welcome home" in the the only way they know: with one of the most exciting and cheering ovation ever, in our theater.
I confess that tears rushed to my face, and the same happened to a lot of people who, standing, was welcoming one of our people. "They say that all that lays in distance has been forgotten" the song says... it depends, there are things that time can not delate. 
 Josep Carreras wanted to give back what people had been transmitting to him throughout the long days of his convalescence, all the esteem and affection, and he wanted to do it as best as he could: singing. The news of his professional comeback were coming out, and we all wondered if his disease had affected his voice, if in that moment in which the man was again with us, could find again the tenor too. 
And it was finally announced. On 21 July Carreras would have been singing a free recital for his hometown, for his audience. I vividly remember that evening, how could I forget it?. The concert was announced at 10pm, and I was already at the Arc de Triomf at 6pm . A real luck because 150,000 people had completely filled the avenue of Passeig de Lluís Companys in an unprecedented show of affection. It was a popular reaction that witnessed the deep sensitivity of a society towards those who feels as "ours", no matter their profession.
He sang 14 songs  that night when his voice sounded again as we remembered it: tender, warm as ever. No matter what he was singing, what really mattered was that he was singing, that he was there again in front of his audience. All songs were well chosen and all were so specially meaningful.
Many were the moments of high emotion. His interpretation of the Emigrant put a lump in our throat  when he sang the words "I am sick";  Montserrat Caballé's coming onstage  was sincere and exciting but if I had to remember a particular moment, it is, curiously , a silence. Carreras' silence when he came out onstage and face the microphone which had to direct some word to, not able to talk, making an effort to control some inhuman emotions that nobody wanted control.
Then everything turned to normal again. His voice was playing and all of us were confident that he had come back.
By the way, the first song he chose was sung in Catalan and the title was: "T'Estimo." (I love you).

And it couldn't have been any different.

3 comments:

  1. E 'il mio grande onore essere collegato qui! Cordiali saluti da Monaco, Karin

    Es ist mir eine große Ehre, hier verbunden sein zu dürfen! Herzliche Grüße aus München, Karin

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  2. ufff, només puc dir una cosa...que maco! Gracies Luvi per oferirnos aquesta vivència tan emotiva i tan ben explicada pel Miquel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Herzlich Wilkommen nach München, Karin!!

    I tant Teresa!! Ho tenia guardat per una bona ocasió ;)

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