José Carreras

Josep Carreras i Coll ( Catalan form of the name, [ ʒuzɛp kəreɾəs i kɔʎ ]; Castilian José Carreras [ Xose kareɾas ]; born December 5, 1946 in Barcelona ) is a Spanish tenor. He is counted among the most outstanding opera singers of the second half of the 20th century. He was next to Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo at the Three Tenors. In public, he is known outside of his native mainly under the name José Carreras.


Josep Carreras 's father, Josep Carreras Soler, was allowed as a staunch Republican after the Spanish Civil War his job as a high school teacher no longer exercise. The family emigrated to Argentina in 1951 in the vain hope of a better life. But after one year, she returned to Barcelona. The father was then a traffic policeman and his mother, Antonia Coll Saigi ran a small barber shop.

First, Carreras studied chemistry, but switched in 1963 to study singing with Jaime Francisco Puig and at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Barcelona. He made his debut in 1970 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the opera house of his hometown in Verdi's Nabucco. In 1971 he won the Verdi Competition in Busseto, was engaged at the Madrid Opera, and debuted with Montserrat Caballé in London in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda.

Numerous guest appearances have taken him from 1972 to the New York City Opera, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Opera of Chicago, the Met, the Royal Opera House, the Vienna State Opera and La Scala (1972). After his international breakthrough as a lyric tenor was followed by further invitations from Salzburg, Hamburg, Munich, Brussels, San Francisco, London and others. Since an appearance at the FIFA World Cup 1990 he formed together with Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, the vocal trio The Three Tenors.

On 8 May 2009 Carreras announced his retirement from the opera stage known, but he said he wanted to continue to occur in concerts.

On June 11, 2012 Carreras was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Saarland.

Relation to Catalonia

Carreras is an avid follower of football and for over 30 years a member of the FC Barcelona. His relationship with the club and to Catalonia, he explained in the following interview.

In the non-Spanish abroad, he is still known mainly under the Spanish name José Carreras. That he did not identify with this name, he said in a radio talk.

Private life

The first marriage (1971-1992) with the history professor Mercedes Pérez originate son Alberto (born 1973 ) and daughter Julia (* 1978). In 2006 he married the Austrian flight attendant Jutta Jäger. The marriage was divorced in 2011. His nephew David Giménez Carreras, the eldest son of his sister Mary, is internationally active as a conductor.

Social Work

1987, at the height of his career, Carreras was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite a poor prognosis, he was a year of intensive treatment, including a then hardly widespread autologous bone marrow transplantation by the Nobel Prize winner Edward Donnall Thomas in Seattle overcome the disease and resume his singing career.

Out of gratitude for the help he has received from medical point of view, 1988 he founded the Fundación Internacional José Carreras para la lucha contra la leucemia with headquarters in Barcelona and other offices in Germany, Switzerland and the USA. The Foundation supports leukemia research since then, the results have the time saved his life and the search for bone marrow donors, and finally the improvement of infrastructure and patient care in hospitals. Since 1995, the German José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation with headquarters in Munich. Since then he has presented every year in December, a benefit gala in Leipzig to support the foundation. It will be broadcast live from the MDR in the first program of the ARD. In the last twelve years were collected over 62 million euros; she is the most successful long-barreled benefit show on German television. At the Gala 2006 donated the audience alone by phone 5380934 euro. 4.55 million viewers watched the live gala (MA 15.3% audience 3 ) and brought the German 2nd place among the top programs of the day. The gala is not transmitted since 2013 in ARD, but on Sky Christmas HD, Goldstar TV, home channel, Romance TV, also via Love stream on the Internet.


  • Prince of Asturias Award (1991 )
  • Grand Officer (1991) and Grand Cross (1996 ) Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  • Grand Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria (1999)
  • University Medal Bene Merenti the University of Regensburg (2000)
  • Great Federal Cross of Merit
  • Grand Officer of the Star of Romania ( 2004)
  • Honorary Doctorate of the Faculty of Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, Dr. hc José Carreras, on 3 May 2006
  • Steiger Award (2006)
  • Honorary Medal of the city of Leipzig on the occasion of his leukemia charity gala in 2009 awarded on 17 December 2009 by OB the city of Leipzig (unanimous decision of the town council of Leipzig)
  • Dresden St. George Order of SemperOperaball (2010)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Saarland (2012 )
  • Honorary Ring of the Vienna State Opera (2013 )