Jose Carreras’ Sydney concert shows this Spanish tenor is still a superstar 

Picture: Renee Nowytarger

It was a special moment in musical history when legendary Spanish tenor Jose Carreras lit up Sydney’s ICC Theatre during his final world tour. The vocal warmth, the seductive tone, the quiet charm and charisma were all still there during Carreras’ Saturday night performance, titled Jose Carreras: A Life In Music. 
At 70, with many trials and triumphs behind him, Carreras is still a superstar. 

The tenor was partnered by local soprano Antoinette Halloran, who was appropriately deferential and projected bright, youthful vivacity to counter the tenor’s dignitas and self-assurance. 
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra was conducted with grace and artistry by the well-known conductor David Gimenez. Gimenez is the son of Carreras’ sister, and is accompanying his uncle on what is billed as Carreras’ last world tour. The affectionate relationship between the two men was a delightful part of the concert, with Gimenez striding purposefully behind Carreras when the maestro walked, a little stiffly, on and off the stage. 

The concert began slowly, with Carreras leaving the stage briefly between each song or aria. Things really took off after interval when Carreras rose to the ecstatic reception of his audience and showed that strength and stamina are still part of his battery of attributes. 
Perhaps the highlight was Carreras’ beautiful rendition of Core ‘ngrato, the achingly lovely Neapolitan song whose historically famous exponents include Carreras’ early inspirations, Giuseppe di Stefano and Mario Lanza. 

Little touches marked Carreras as a suave and gentlemanly leading man. He ensured Halloran stood between himself and Gimenez as she took her bow. And those who looked closely could see Carreras encourage Halloran during the concert with a quick wink or a warm smile. 

It has been said that Carreras owes his success to making everyone in the auditorium feel as though he is singing to them alone. It must be a swooning feeling to actually share the stage with such a man and such a voice.