Josep Carreras' artistry and humanity thrilled the audience in Ashdod

According to local press, last Wednesday, 13 June, Josep Carreras offered an amazing performance in Ashdod, Israel, which was regarded as one of the International Mediterranean Festival of 2018. He shared the stage with soprano Daniella Lugassy and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Giménez.

Photo: Daniella Lugassy (Facebook)

The Ashdod Park Amphitheater, the venue of the concert, was filled by an audience of 4.000 people  who welcomed Carreras with a huge ovation as he took his first steps on stage: they knew that they couldn't miss their opportunity to say goodbye to a living legend of Opera, who is currently on his farewell tour.


The Jerusalem Post which is part of a very good review which opens like this:

When listening to a concert by a 71-year-old whose life story and name walk miles before him, audience members often expect to be disappointed. As singers age, the membranes in their vocal chords lose their agility, and many ride on their fame and past success when selling out halls in their later years. Jose Carreras is not such a case. (...) 
the Catalonian opera legend filled the city’s entire Amphi Park Wednesday night with fervent passion, talent and musical catharsis. His stage presence, poignancy, and artistic depth made clear to those present that he rightly earned his renown.

(TAMAR BEN-OZER, The Jerusalem Post)

I explicitly report this paragraph because I couldn't agree more: during each concert, Carreras proves that age didn't affect his artistry, and that, as time goes by, the beauty of his warm timbre, passionate phrasing, superbe interpretation and graceful stage presence exceed all expectations. In his case, a legend is forever.

During the concert, Carreras offered a selection of mostly Neapolitan and Catalan songs with some zarzuela excerpts: to mention some, L'Ultima Canzone, Passione and The Impossible Dream.

As usual, the tenor appeared very serious throughout most of the performance, which was regarded as a sign of the solemnity and wisdom with which he has come to regard his lifetime achievement; however, his look displayed all his humanity and adoration for his profession: actually this touched those who perceived it and made them even more aware of the privilege of such experience.

For sure, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young soprano Daniella Lugassy who shared the stage with him: as the press reports, she lovely sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and then joined Carreras in a few duets, such as El dúo de la Africana and the closing encore, Non ti scordar di me.