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José Carreras: 1946—: Opera Singer Biography

Appeared In Boy Soprano Role, Diagnosed With Leukemia, Three Tenors Became Popular Phenomenon

José Carreras: 1946—: Opera singer.

With classic Latin good looks and one of the great voices of the twentieth century, José Carreras has lived the image of what it means to be a star operatic tenor. Carreras had already become a success on opera stages and in the world of classical-pop "crossover" music, when he endured a near-death experience in 1987—a bout with an often fatal form of leukemia. He survived the disease and went on to new heights of fame as one of the Three Tenors, a trio of opera giants who have performed megaconcerts in performances for audiences around the world.

Josep Carreras was born in Barcelona, Spain, on December 5, 1946; his original first name was the Catalan form of the Spanish "José." His parents faced hard times in Spain because they had resisted the ascendancy of the right-wing dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and when Carreras was four they emigrated temporarily to Argentina. On the boat across the Atlantic, Carreras's performing abilities made an early appearance as he entertained passengers with impressions of Argentine tango performers.

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