Domenica scorsa, 15 maggio, l'attesissimo concerto di Josep Carreras alla Royal Albert Hall di Londra per celebrare una vita nella musica. Sia il motivo del concerto sia lo splendore della prestigiosissima sala che lo ha ospitato hanno reso questo appuntamento irrinunciabile, come è stato dimostrato dall'ottimo successo delle vendite: sold-out entro breve, ulteriori biglietti sono stati resi disponibili a pochi giorni dall'evento, permettendo a qualcun altro di poter approfittare di questa opportunità straordinaria in cui il pubblico britannico ha potuto riabbracciare uno degli interpreti d'opera che più ha amato in assoluto, dopo qualche anno di assenza.

Per l'occasione, il leggendario tenore è stato affiancato dal soprano Celine Byrne, come debitamente annunciato, e dal mezzosoprano Margarita Gritskova. La Royal Philarmonic Concert Orchestra è stata diretta dal Maestro David Giménez.


Nessun articolo nella stampa britannica, o comunque nessuno che valga la pena segnalare, ma tantissimi commenti pieni di stima ed entusiasmo su Twitter con immagini in allegato. 
Un servizio televisivo sul canale spagnolo Telecinco è stato trasmesso martedì e potete vederlo a partire dal minuto 42.

Fonti personali, che in casi come questi si rivelano indispensabili, vanno a colmare la carenza di materiale. 
Senza dubbio un concesso di grande successo e con una piacevole atmosfera in sala. 
Il programma, che vedremo più in dettaglio in seguito, è stato suddiviso abbastanza equamente tra i tre artisti e ha previsto esibizioni in singolo per ognuno, duetti e addirittura terzetti e un medley assortito in chiusura del programma ufficiale, tra cui spiccava la celeberrima Vesti la giubba che Josep Carreras ha interpretato con autentica e straordinaria drammaticità.

Molto felice di tornare alla Royal Albert Hall dopo quasi 6 anni, il tenore ha rivolto qualche parola di ringraziamento al pubblico durante l'ultima fase del concerto. Tra i sette bis concessi, Core 'ngrato e Vierno sono state ulteriori conferme, ancora una volta, di quanto questo artista immenso possa e sappia ancora dare a chi lo ascolta.

Intendo ringraziare personalmente coloro che, avendo assistito al concerto, hanno voluto dedicarmi del tempo per condividere informazioni e materiali.
Ringrazio Elaine per le bellissime fotografie che, fin da subito, ha voluto mettere a disposizione per il blog, e anche per la review del concerto che ha scritto appositamente. Chiunque voglia fare lo stesso è il benvenuto.

Prima di condividere il testo, non mi rimane che rivolgere i più sinceri complimenti agli artisti, specialmente a Josep, per la straordinaria performance in cui ha dato tutto sé stesso.


On Sunday, May 15, Josep Carreras' eagerly awaited concert took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Both his celebration of A Life in Music and the splendor of such prestigious hall made this a highlight event, as has been shown by ticket sales success: as it was sold out quite rapidly, additional tickets have been made available a few days before the event, allowing a few more people to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity in which the British public was able to embrace again one of the opera performers they have loved most, after a few years of absence.
For the occasion, the legendary tenor was joined by soprano Celine Byrne, as duly announced, and mezzo-soprano Margarita Gritskova. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra was conducted by David Giménez.
No articles in the British press, or at least none worth mentioning, but many comments full of esteem and enthusiasm on Twitter with lovely smartphone-pictures attached.
A television report on the Spanish channel Telecinco was broadcast Tuesday and you can watch it from 42 minutes. (Video-link above)
Personal sources, that in cases like these are fundamental, allow me to solve the scarcity of material.
No doubts that it was actually a great success and a pleasant atmosphere reigned in the hall. The program, which we will see in more detail later, was fairly split among the three artists and provided individual performances, as well as duets and even trios, and a well assorted medley closed the official program, among which stood out the terrific aria Vesti la giubba by Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, that Josep Carreras rendered with authentic and extraordinary drama.
Since he was very happy to perform back to the Royal Albert Hall after almost six years, the tenor addressed a few words to thank the public during the last part of the concert. Among the seven encores, Core 'ngrato and Vierno were further proofs, once again, of how much this huge artist can give to the listener, and still knows how to.

I would like to personally thank all those attending friends who wanted to spent time to share information and material with me.
Thank you Elaine for the beautiful shots you wanted to immediately make available for the blog, and also for the concert review you wrote for us. Anyone who wants to do the same is very welcome.

Before sharing her text, I can only address my most sincere congratulations to the artists, especially to our Josep, for the extraordinary performance.

Josep Carreras – A life in Music 15th May 2016  
By Elaine - ÍTACA 
I have to admit that it is some time since I last saw Josep on concert, not that I haven't wanted to, but circumstances seem to have conspired against me. So, it was with eager anticipation, and maybe a little apprehension, that I arrived at the Royal Albert Hall in London for his 'A Life in Music'.
Needless to say, I was not disappointed! 
The concert opened, as usual, with a rousing orchestral piece, in this case, the overture from 'Die Fledermaus', superbly conducted by David Giménez.
Then, the moment we had all been waiting for, Josep arrived on stage to loud applause. Any fleeting thoughts that age might have degraded his voice, or that charismatic stage presence, were lost in an instant. Yes, his hair may be a little greyer, but beneath that slightly older exterior, there still lurks an unparalleled talent. He can still hold an audience in the palm of his hand, keep them hanging on his every word.
He opened with Costa's 'Era de Maggio', a beautiful rendition, every note perfect, filled with emotion. Maybe I am slightly biased, but for me Josep is the only tenor who has the ability tell the story of a song just by the way he sings it, somehow he can transmit what the lyrics are saying even to those who do not completely understand the language he is singing in. He then continued with a song in his native Catalan, 'T'estimo', for me, as someone learning this beautiful language, this was a highlight of the evening. There is no disputing that Josep is a superb singer in all languages, but there is an extra spark in his eyes, and a deeper sincerity in his voice when he sings in his mother tongue.
The young irish soprano Celine Byrne then took to the stage with an excellent rendition of 'Ebben! Ne andrò lontana', before Josep returned to join her for a duet version of 'Ave Maria' by Schubert, a beautiful song, with a beautiful blend of voices. This was followed by another aria, by another female vocalist, this time, the Russian mezzo Margarita Gritskova, with a lively version of Rossini's 'Una voce poco fa'. She too was then joined by Josep for the beautiful duet 'Je te veux'. Both in excellent voice. After another wonderful orchestral performance of Waltz no 2 from the Jazz Suite, Josep returned to close the first part with a rousing rendition of 'The impossible dream'. 
The second part commenced with a truly passionate performance of 'Passione' by Josep! Wonderfully performed as ever with a true depth of emotions. The 'girls' then took over again for a while, starting with an animated performance of 'De España vengo by Celine Byrne, who was then joined by Margarita Gritskova for a beautiful performance of the 'Barcarolle' from Les Contes d'Hoffmann, before she left the stage for Josep to join Margarita for an lively, and at times almost playful version of 'Dúo y Jota' After a final intermezzo from the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, we arrived at the 'grand finale' with all three singers returning to the stage for a medley of songs, reflecting the on-stage life of Josep, during which, as for most of the concert, images of past triumphs were projected onto a large screen at the rear of the stage.
The medley covered all aspects of Josep's life, with solos by all three singers and various duets and trios. Songs ranged from West side story to Brindisi from Traviata, all perfectly sung. For me, highlights included Josep's opening song, 'l'Ultima Canzione' by Tosti, even if it did seem a little odd to start a medley with the 'final song'!! , and a highly emotional 'Vesti la giubba'! 
After the wonderful medley, of course there was more to come and we were treated to encores by all three performers. Sent 'out to bat' first as she described it, was Celine singing 'I could have danced all night' with her almost dancing through it. But of course, what we were all waiting for was the return of Josep, and what a return, a powerful, inspired version of 'Chitarra Romana'. It was then Margarita's turn to entertain with a lively Russian (?) song. (Sorry the title has escaped me). Josep then returned to join her in a duet version of 'Non ti scordar di mi' at one point she invited him to dance, but, sadly, he declined! This was followed by another highlight, one of Josep's standards, the wonderfully emotional 'Core n'grato', beautifully sung with perfect phrasing and almost tangible emotion. After this Josep made a short speech thanking the audience before all three came together once again to sing 'Amics per Sempre' best known as the theme tune for the Barcelona Olympics, a suitably rousing finale! But, of course, we weren't going to let it end there, and after several minutes of rapturous applause and standing ovation, and even one enthusiastic American gentleman telling ye-hah! 
Josep returned one last time for a final encore, his voice as powerful as if he had just started the beginning of the concert, floating effortlessly over his enthusiastic audience. What more can I say, a wonderful, spellbinding evening.
Moltes, moltes gràcies Josep!