José Carreras, one of the legendary "Three Tenors," was born Josep Carreras (Josep is his Catalan name, the equivalent of the Castilian Spanish José) in Barcelona in 1946. He began singing at a very early age; family lore holds that he serenaded passengers on a voyage home from Argentina when he was only five. He was inspired by the film biography The Great Caruso, starring Mario Lanza, and is said to have learned each and every aria contained within. After a mere two years of voice lessons, the young Carreras sang "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto on Spanish National Radio -- a performance that has been preserved and is included in one of his video biographies. He made his professional operatic debut at the age of eleven in Manuel de Falla's El retablo de Maese Pedro. This unique opera, written originally for a puppet ...
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