Staff Reporter

TENOR Jose Carreras, who last night gave a fund-raising concert at Palma Cathedral, spoke out against directors who tried to be “provocative” in their staging of operas, because of lack of imagination, just so people would talk about the production.

It is an attitude, he said, which damages opera, because it does not respect the wishes of the composer or the author of the libretto.
Carreras made his comments “as an opera fan” after being asked at a press conference what he thought about productions such as the Salome by Richard Strauss, in which the protagonist appears nude on stage.

The tenor said it was normal that there should be “controversy surrounding a certain style of production, which, he added, should be respected, but he lamented the fact that provocation was often used in an effort to be original.

At the same time, he also found it “logical” that from time to time there should be episodes such as the recent one when tenor Roberto Alagna walked off the stage of La Scala in Milan during a performance of Aida when heckled by the audience.

Carreras said this was due to “the levels of tension and anxiety” of the singers, which often makes them react in a way which is not always the “most suitable.” Singers have also had to adapt to the world of image, he said, becoming actors, although he made it clear that if he had to choose, in opera he prefers a good singer to a good actor.

Carreras sang last night at Palma's Cathedral before an audience of about 4'000 people.
It was organised under an agreement signed by the tenor, as chairman of the Jose Carreras International Foundation for the Fight Against Leukemia, and Miquel Fluxá, as chairman of the Fundación Iberostar.

Carreras was accompanied at the piano by Lorenzo Bavaj.
The programme included 18th and 19th century and contemporary works by Grieg, Scarlatti, Chopin, Granados, Gardel and Piazzola among others.
Carreras expressed his satisfaction at the agreement which, he said, will allow his Foundation to make advances in the fight against leukemia.
He thanked the Iberostar Foundation for the opportunity which it gave him to sing in “such an extraordinary setting as Palma Cathedral.” Apart from the concert, the agreement with the Iberostar Foundation will also promote the donation of bone marrow and bone marrow transplant, and recruit new members.

The Iberostar Foundation will collaborate, providing accommodation in its hotels for donors and promoting the fight against leukemia.
Around 4'000 new cases of leukemia are detected each year, and it is the cancer most frequently found in children.
Carreras said that the Foundation has several thousand members, but, most important of all, he stressed, is that it has 75'000 bone marrow donors.
It was the first time that Carreras had sung in Majorca since September 2003, when he appeared at the Auditorium with Catalan singer-song writer Lluis Llach.


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